The Columbus Blue Jackets will reportedly be short-handed for the next four games.
According to Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch, the NHL suspended Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll on Thursday for four games for the hit he levied against Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of the Philadelphia Flyers during Tuesday's game.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca weighed in on the decision:
Mark Spector @SportsnetSpec
"Extreme lateness and predatory nature of the hit." Accurate ruling here, IMO: https://t.co/FpXekvo35A3/24/2016, 7:37:02 PM
According to NHL Player Safety (via NHL.com), Boll was “considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” In addition to the suspension, Boll will have to forfeit $82,926.84 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. His salary level is what determined the total monetary punishment.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch noted the Blue Jackets decided not to appeal the suspension.
NHL.com shared a video with the play and a detailed explanation of the penalty:
Boll only has two points on the entire season and is seen more as a physical enforcer for Columbus than anything else. He has not scored double-digits points since the 2010-11 campaign, when he tallied 12 on seven goals and five assists. What’s more, he has only played 28 games this season and already has 59 penalty minutes, per ESPN.com.
This is another blow in what has been a disappointing season for the Blue Jackets. They came into the year with high hopes but are only 30-35-8 and nowhere near the postseason picture in the Eastern Conference. According to ESPN.com's current playoff picture, Columbus trails the Flyers by 15 points for the final spot in the East as of Thursday.
Although it has been a lackluster campaign in the standings, the Blue Jackets at least have other pieces to play right winger while Boll is out with his suspension. Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno will likely be asked to shoulder more minutes as bigger goal-scoring threats than Boll.