Taylor Hall Reportedly Suspended 2 Games for Kneeing Cal Clutterbuck
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Hall will receive a two-game suspension after a hit on Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck that led to Hall receiving a five-minute major and a game misconduct on Thursday night:
Confirming 2 game suspension for Taylor Hall— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 22, 2013
The hit in question came from Hall during the Oilers' Thursday night loss to the Wild, 3-1. It appeared that Hall led with his knee and hit Clutterbuck low, which has led to a bruised thigh and a day-to-day injury status.
Here is what Hall had to say about the hit and what Wild coach Mike Yeo's opinion was, per Mike Brehm of USA Today.
After the game, Hall said:
It's unfortunate. You never want to see a guy sitting there on the ice. My first thought was I looked around to see if there was a penalty and obviously there was. I really didn't feel it was knee on knee at all. I really felt like I got him with my hip or torso area.
Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo saw the play differently:
To me, what I saw was a player that didn't even look at the puck, Yeo said in his postgame news conference. And he looked like he was trying to hurt a guy.
Clearly, Hall didn't watch the same video we all did. It may not have been knee on knee, but Hall certainly led with his knee, and that's what leveled Clutterbuck.
Granted, the puck was in Clutterbuck's general vicinity when it bounced off his skate, but Hall's attempt to land a hit on Clutterbuck didn't need to be done so low.
I wouldn't automatically assume Hall was trying to injure the Wild forward, but it certainly didn't look like a good hit for people who want to make that case.
Hall was the Oilers' No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and has been a great contributor for his team over the past few seasons. The 21-year-old has notched at least 20 goals and 20 assists in his first two years in the league.
Through 16 games this season, Hall is tied for the team lead in points (16) and leads the Oilers in assists (13). He's also netted three goals during the 2012-13 campaign.
As a major catalyst for Edmonton's No. 27-ranked offense, Hall's suspension will no doubt be a huge blow to the Oilers who currently sit on the outside of the playoff race at 6-7-3.
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