Gilbert suspended three games; Sutter disagreed with need for hearing - LA Kings Insider

Kings defenseman Tom Gilbert has been suspended three games for his unpenalized second period hit on Anaheim’s Nick Ritchie, the NHL announced on Thursday. Gilbert, who will surrender $23,333.34 to the Players Emergency Fund because of the suspension, will miss home games against Pittsburgh and Calgary this week and next Tuesday’s road trip opener in Toronto.

According to the Department of Player Safety video, “As the video shows, Ritchie approaches Gilbert on the forecheck deep in the L.A. zone. Gilbert moves the puck to a teammate as Ritchie finishes a hard hit into the end boards. The play moves back up-ice. Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner takes a pass from a teammate and quickly moves the puck to center, where Ritchie is waiting for a pass. Approaching Ritchie from behind, Gilbert finishes with a solid hit through Ritchie’s numbers and left shoulder, driving him violently into the boards and causing an injury. This is boarding. It is important to note that although Ritchie puts himself in a vulnerable position, he does so well before Gilbert intiates this hit and with more than enough time for him to avoid, or at the very least, minimize contact. Instead, Gilbert not only finishes Ritchie through the back, he does so with significant force, coming off the ice through contact as he explodes into this hit. The launch upward by Gilbert not only increases the force of the impact, it causes Ritchie’s head to be driven forcefully and dangerously into the glass in an illegal manner.”

The league also noted Gilbert’s history in the video. In October, 2010, Gilbert was fined for contact to the head of Matt Stajan, a hit that didn’t injure the Calgary forward but came off poorly on video.

Speaking before the suspension was announced, Darryl Sutter expressed his displeasure with the league’s intervention. “I totally disagree that there should be any sort of hearing or anything, at all, and usually I’m all in the [mindset of], ‘what’s the right call,’ it doesn’t matter if it’s your team or the other team, but I totally disagree with it,” he said. “Quite honest, there were ones on him that should’ve been looked at. So I totally disagree with it. I’ve got nothing, that’s just how I feel. I was shocked and surprised to hear [there would be a hearing].”

It’s interesting that the league noted that the hit came as Gilbert “approached Ritchie from behind,” which is debatable, given that the replays show Gilbert approaching the Ducks forward from a 45-degree angle. Still, the more significant concern is that Gilbert appeared to launch up towards Ritchie, springboarding towards the Ducks forward and leaving the ice surface. Was that momentum from contact that carried Gilbert up towards Ritchie, or was that actually Gilbert leaving his feet? (Looking at the video, he probably left his feet prior to contact, though his right skate may remain on the ice.) The injury appeared to occur as the force of the hit snapped Ritchie’s head violently against the glass. Ritchie, who was treated for concussion protocol at Staples Center according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, did not skate today.

Though the hit was unpenalized, Gilbert and Anaheim forward Corey Perry received roughing minors for an altercation after a whistle on the same shift. In eight games, the right-shot defenseman has three assists and a minus-two rating while averaging 16:31 of ice time.

With Gilbert out of the lineup, Kevin Gravel, recalled early on Thursday, was paired with Alec Martinez, while Derek Forbort was paired with Matt Greene as part of a blue line that had already been depleted by the injury to Brayden McNabb.

Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
VIEW ADRIAN KEMPE POSTS

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO POSTS

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS