Brandon Prust Suspended 2 Games by NHL over Late Hit on Derek Stepan

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2014

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Updates from Wednesday, March 28

Renaud Levoie of TVA Sports spoke to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien about Brandon Prust's status for Game 6:

Original Text

Big hits are a huge part of hockey, but sometimes they come with consequences.

Early in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, Brandon Prust of the Montreal Canadiens knocked down Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers with a high shot that appeared to be late.

SportsCenter reports that Prust received a two-game suspension: breaks down Prust's discipline via video:

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail and Arpon Basu of provide comments from Brandon Prust:

Newsday's Mark Herrmann sheds light on a text sent from Prust to Stepan:

The hit was so bad it broke Stepan's jaw, according to the Rangers' official Twitter account:

As a result, the league is ready to take action. According to the NHL Department of Player Safety (h/t Brian Stubits of CBS Sports), Prust will have a hearing for the incident:

While it remains to be seen what type of punishment will come from the devastating shot, it is clear that Rangers coach Alain Vigneault wants something done. Katie Strang of ESPN quoted him after the game:

Chris Johnston of Rodgers Sportsnet has Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien's thoughts on the matter:

The Canadiens ended up winning Game 3 in overtime, but the Rangers still lead the series 2-1. Stepan has been a big part of his team's success with a goal and four assists in three games. For the playoffs, the 23-year-old center has three goals and eight assists in 17 contests, posting a point in five games in a row.

With him out of the lineup, New York's ability to score is badly damaged.

Obviously, this makes the league's decision with Prust that much more important. The NHL must send a message to the veteran forward and the rest of the sport that they will not be able to get away with knocking out key opposing players without consequences. 


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