Connor McDavid Suspended 2 Games for Illegally Checking Nick Leddy

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on February 16, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Oilers 5-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL suspended Edmonton Oilers superstar forward Connor McDavid for two games Friday for his illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy.

McDavid's infraction occurred during the Oilers' 4-3 overtime win against the Islanders on Thursday. He was assessed a two-minute minor penalty after contacting Leddy's head with his shoulder.

McDavid will be eligible to return to the lineup for Edmonton's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, "McDavid will forfeit $134,408.60" in game checks as a result of the suspension. This also marks the first suspension of McDavid's career.

Leddy cleared concussion protocol and managed to finish Thursday's game.

After the contest, McDavid told the Edmonton Sun (h/t TSN) he didn't intend to hit Leddy in the head: "Obviously it's not a great check, it's not what I was trying to do. I wasn't trying to finish my check on him and he stopped a little earlier than I thought, and I hit him a bit too high."

In his fourth NHL season, the 2015 No. 1 overall draft pick has 32 goals and 53 assists for 85 points in 58 games. He ranks third in the NHL in points behind only Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov and Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.

McDavid is already a three-time All-Star, two-time Art Ross Trophy winner and one-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner during his young NHL career.

While he has been successful individually, team success has been harder to come by. The Oilers are currently second-last in the Western Conference with 56 points, and they are six points out of a playoff spot.

Being without McDavid for games against the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators could be a major hit to the Oilers' postseason hopes.

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