The NHL Department of Player Safety continues to mystify with its rulings.
On Monday night, Joel Farabee was suspended three games for interference on Mathieu Perreault during the Flyers' 7-3 loss Sunday to the Jets.
The hit by Farabee was a costly, ill-advised risk. But, while it came a bit late, Farabee is a 19-year-old rookie with no track record of malicious intent.
Here were the major points in the review from the NHL Department of Player Safety:
Almost a full second after the puck is gone, Farabee delivers a late, forceful hit to the vulnerable Perreault, knocking him to the ice and causing an injury. This is interference. Players not in position of the puck are never eligible to be checked. However, the interference rule provides a brief window where a player who initiates a check while his opponent is in possession of the puck may finish the hit. This is not such a play.
What causes this incident to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the considerable lateness and force of a hit delivered to a vulnerable opponent. And while we acknowledge Farabee’s assertion that he attempts to hit Perreault in a legal fashion, he fails to do so under the interference rule.
It's understandable if the Flyers or others have been left perplexed by the NHL Department of Player Safety going back to last season. In 2018-19, Evgeni Malkin was suspended just one game for swinging his stick near Michael Raffl's head, Kurtis Gabriel (now with the AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley) was banned one game for boarding a defenseless Nolan Patrick, while Jakub Voracek received two games for interference as Johnny Boychuk pursued the Flyers' forward who had the puck.
Prior to Farabee's suspension, the Flyers were already seriously undermanned at forward. On Sunday, the team was without Scott Laughton (groin), Tyler Pitlick (concussion), Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma diagnosis), Travis Konecny (concussion), Raffl (broken right pinkie finger) and Patrick (migraine disorder).
Add Farabee to the list, which gives the Flyers only 11 forwards right now.
Depending on health updates, the Flyers might have to roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen when they host the Ducks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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