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Blues’ Bortuzzo suspended three games (one regular season) for elbowing

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When the St. Louis Blues begin the regular season next week they will be without one of their defenders on opening night.

The NHL’s department of player safety announced on Thursday evening that Robert Bortuzzo has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason, as well as one regular season game, for an elbowing incident that took place in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Washington Capitals.

Given that the Blues have two preseason games remaining, that brings the suspension to a total of three games.
[Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

The play took place early in the third period and saw Bortuzzo elbow Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny in the head. Kempny was injured as a result of the play, a factor that no doubt played a role in Bortuzzo’s suspension.

Here is a look at the play and the NHL’s explanation for the suspension.

As is the case with Max Domi’s farce of a suspension from earlier this preseason, the missed preseason games are completely meaningless as far as a punishment goes. All they mean is Bortuzzo doesn’t have to play in games that don’t matter (and games he would probably rather not be playing in anyway) and he doesn’t lose any salary for missing those games.

By missing one regular season game he will forfeit $6,182.80 in salary.

This is the second time Bortuzzo has been suspended in his NHL career, having previously been suspended two games for interference on then-Devils forward Jaromir Jagr. He has also been fined on two separate occasions by the NHL.

Related: NHL not tough enough on preseason suspensions

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.