Byfuglien’s monster hit spurs controversy: Suspend him or not?

Listed at 6’5”, 260 Lbs, it’s no wonder Dustin Byfuglien can lay the boom with tremendous force. Last night against the New Jersey Devils was no different.

The veteran defenseman has made a name for himself after being a force on the ice, but his hit last night may have landed him in hot water.

As Devils’ forward Brian Boyle attempted to clear the puck out of his own defensive end, he was knocked in the head by an oncoming Byfuglien.

The hit crushed Boyle but he bounced right back up. Seconds after Boyle was hit, the teams gathered near the hit player to exchange pleasantries and opinions of the hit in the form of pushing and shoving.

The entire incident resulted in Byfuglien receiving a two-minute penalty for a Check to the Head, while also receiving a minor for Unsportsmanlike. Boyle received a minor for Unsportsmanlike as well. Byfuglien’s Check to the Head was changed to a Charging call, so that may change how the NHL Player Safety department views the hit.

How the play was disciplined by the referee’s created great discussion on social media. Like any play, fans were split on whether or not the decision was correct.

Fans pointed out that Byfuglien can’t hit because of his size, but there is not much the NHL can do if he connects with a hit and it targets the head. Some fans also think this is an easy suspension.

Right now there has been no word from the NHL on if they will be viewing the hit for a possible suspension. If that were to happen, the announcement of a discussion should take place sometime Monday.