The official league verdict is eight games for James Wisniewski.
Wisniewski was given the suspension after a questionable hit on Chicago Blackhawks defensemen Brent Seabrook.
Seabrook, who appeared to be slightly unconscious after the hit, reported to his team’s bench before officially leaving the game with an upper body injury.
The hit was in retaliation for a hit moments earlier that Seabrook lay upon forward Corey Perry along the boards. While Seabrook went un-penalized for what might have been considered a boarding penalty, Wisniewski came to his teammate’s aid and literally took Seabrook out of the game.
Wisniewski and Seabrook were teammates not long ago in Chicago before Wisniewski was traded to Anaheim in a deal with Samuel Pahlsson during the 2009 trade deadline.
In addition to this eight game suspension, Wisniewski has missed prior games this season due to another questionable hit on Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Wisniewski was suspended in that case for two games.
More than likely, the severity of this suspension is due to Wisniewski’s history.
This suspension comes at a difficult time for the Ducks as they are still in the hunt for a playoff position. Missing Wisniewski from the lineup for eight games will definitely put a damper on their current upswing as they have won the past two games against the tops in the Western Conference, San Jose, and Chicago.
Unfortunately, Wisniewski was trying to honor his teammate by retaliating against Seabrook. At this point, however, he’s put them in a very compromising position during this intense and important time of the season.