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Blackhawks’ Connolly suspended 4 games for hit on Stars’ Kero

The NHL suspended Blackhawks forward Brett Connolly four games for his hit on Tanner Kero of the Stars.

Kero left the ice on a stretcher. The Stars announced that Tanner Kero was alert and responsive before being going to a hospital for further observation.

Watch the video above for the Department of Player Safety’s explanation for suspending Connolly four games for that hit on Kero.

The DoPs noted a few things:

  • Kero was in a vulnerable position, and did not have possession of the puck, emphasizing that this was an instance of interference.
  • Connolly had opportunities to change his course or body position, but ultimately skated “through” Kero.
  • Kero’s injury factored into Connolly’s suspension.
  • That said, a lack of suspensions/fines in Connolly’s past may have helped his cause.

After the Stars’ win over the Blackhawks, Joe Pavelski was emotional speaking about Kero’s injury, and his own experiences with scary hits.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.