Following a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety (DOPS), Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has been suspended five games for his hit on New York Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech on Thursday night.

On Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens squared off with the New York Islanders. Late in the game, Adam Pelech carried the puck up ice and dished it off. Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher came up unexpectedly to Pelech and caught the Islanders defenceman up high with what appeared to be an elbow. Pelech left the game and did not return.

Following the play, Gallagher received a five-minute major and a game misconduct.  The Islanders crawled back into this one with the extended man advantage to tie it. But Montreal ultimately pulled off the win in regulation. Now the NHL DOPS issued a suspension for Gallagher following a phone hearing related to that hit.

Moving Forward

Gallagher is a veteran forward for the Canadiens. This season he has eight goals and eight assists in 48 games played. While the Canadiens are still a rebuilding team, having veteran players like Gallagher can help mentor the younger, up-and-coming players like Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky. But for the next few games, they will be without the veteran forward.

The suspension follows the rule that a phone hearing will only allow a max of five games suspended. Whether it is right, wrong or indifferent, the fact that Gallagher has never been suspended in his career was likely a factor in the NHL DOPS’ decision to do the phone hearing versus in-person. But now the Canadiens will move forward without Gallagher for a bit. And we all hope that Pelech’s injuries are not too serious and that he is able to return to the ice quickly.

Main Photo Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

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