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Maxim Lapierre receives 4 game suspension

Montreal Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre will miss four games and lose $14,248.72 after being suspended for a hit from behind on San Jose Sharks forward Scott Nichol, reports Jeff Marek.

David Pollak wrote that Nichol is expected to miss 7-10 days because of the cheap shot. Pollak spoke to Rob Blake about the play, which didn’t result in a penalty during the game.

“That was a tough play. Those are the kinds of plays we don’t like to see because he’s in a very vulnerable position. It was a tough call and the refs were very open about that,” Blake said.

It might not be hyperbole to call dirty hits - whether they come from behind, when a player’s head is down or in some other vulnerable position - an epidemic in the NHL. Considering some recent - and unsettling - stories about concussions in sports, it often makes me queasy to think that some of my favorite athletes may someday struggle to function in society.

That being said, it’s difficult to know what the league should do. After all, hockey is a violent sport played at incredible speeds. I’m not sure if it’s possible to stop such hits from happening (although consistent repercussions would be a start).

Video of the hit can be found here. (H/T to Mike Chen of From the Rink for the video)