The NHL Department of Player Safety (DOPS) issued a three game suspension for Winnipeg Jets defenceman Brenden Dillon for his hit to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins Noel Acciari.

Brenden Dillon Suspended Three Games

On Tuesday night’s Jets/Penguins game, Noel Acciari raced down the boards and Brenden Dillon met him with a hit to Acciari’s head. The hit knocked off Acciari’s helmet and sent him to the ice. He was helped off and back to the locker room and did not return. Dillon was assessed a match penalty. Following this incident, the NHL DOPS had a phone hearing with Dillon and ultimately decided to suspend him for three games. The phone hearing meant that Dillon could not receive more than a five-game suspension.

As of this game, Dillon had six goals and nine assists. The Penguins shut out the Jets 3-0. But Dillon is more of a physical, defensive presence for the Jets. At 6′ 4″ and 225 lbs., Dillon has a propensity to throw his weight around. Sometimes a little too close to crossing the line as seen here. He leads the Jets in hits with 136 but also in penalties significantly with 75.

What this Means

This is not Dillon’s first interaction with the NHL DOPS as he was suspended back in 2017. However, due to the length of time between that incident and this one, Dillon is not considered a repeat offender. Regardless, Winnipeg will move forward without Dillon. While the Jets had a hot stretch of limiting other teams’ scoring, they have since cooled off and have gone 1-3-1 in their last five including the Penguins matchup. They have not scored more than two goals in any of those and have been shutout twice. While the Jets search for offence, losing Dillon may not be the biggest contributor in that regard. However, losing a strong defenceman like Dillon will cause line shuffles and adjustments that the Jets will have to weather.

Main Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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