Earlier today, Boston Bruins‘ defenseman Andrew Ference was summoned to a hearing with the NHL about his questionable hit against Toronto Maple Leafs‘ forward Mikhail Grabovski. Now the NHL has given their final ruling; a one game suspension.
The hit occurred early in game one last night as Grabovski and Ference met in the corner of the rink. As Ference approached, he raised his elbow and cracked Grabovksi in the head, sending the winger down to the ice. While no penalty was called and Grabovski finished the game, many wondered aloud if this was something Ference would have to answer for. Turns out there was some sense to those thoughts.
Ference has served time for things like this in the past, most recently last season when he was ejected and eventually suspended for a nasty hit against New York Rangers‘ defenseman Ryan McDonagh. And who can forget the $2,500 fine he received in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs for giving a few Montreal Canadiens fans the one-fingered salute.
This move certainly won’t be seen as a negative by every Bruin. With Ference out for game two against the Leafs on Saturday, rookie Dougie Hamilton will undoubtedly get to see the first playoff action of his career. Many Bruins fans were more than upset with coach Claude Julien‘s choice to scratch Hamilton in game one having Wade Redden step in instead. Those same fans can’t have too much to say about the move now after Redden played an unexpectedly crucial role in Boston’s 4-1 victory.
Ference will be back for game three, and it’s safe to assume, barring anymore injuries or suspensions, Hamilton will return to the press box as a healthy scratch. That being said, Hamilton needs to take game two as an audition. If he contributes the way Redden did in game one, Boston may have an interesting dilemma on their hands.