Engelland hearing for hit to head surprises Bylsma
Deryk Engelland could have helped the Penguins on Monday night.
However, he was not available for a home game against Toronto because of a looming discipline hearing with NHL Player Safety.
The need for that hearing — scheduled for Wednesday at the league's headquarters in Manhattan — surprised coach Dan Bylsma.
“Deryk was suspended before, so there is a past history (against) him,” Bylsma said, acknowledging he otherwise sees no reason for Engelland's discipline hearing.
Engelland received a match penalty in a win at Detroit on Saturday night for his hit on the Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader, who was clipped in the head. Engelland said the contact with Abdelkader's head was unintentional.
Bylsma shared a similar opinion Monday morning.
“Deryk and Justin are going for a puck, both going stick-on-puck, and Justin's leaning into the play,” Bylsma said. “I think Deryk's intention is to go stick-on-puck, and (he is) really not looking for too much physical contact. (He is) protecting himself going into that hit.”
Engelland was one of five regular defensemen unavailable for the Penguins against Toronto on Monday night. Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin and Rob Scuderi were out with injuries.
Engelland was suspended three games for his leaving his feet and making contact with the head of Chicago's Marcus Kruger on March 20, 2011.
The NHL's labor contract with its Players' Association states that an in-person hearing occurs only if Player Safety's preliminary review of an on-ice incident indicates a suspension of six or more goals may be appropriate.
The NHL's weekend suspension of Boston's Shawn Thornton is being appealed, the Players' Association announced Monday. Thornton received a 15-game ban for his assault of Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7 at Boston.
Commissioner Gary Bettman will hear Thornton's appeal. If Bettman upholds a suspension of at least six games, Thornton will have seven days to appeal to a neutral discipline arbitrator.
James Oldham, president of the National Academy of Arbitrators, would hear that case.
The option for a neutral arbitrator on discipline matters was not available to players under previous labor contracts. If Thornton's case goes before Oldham, it will mark the first time for neutral arbitration in an NHL disciplinary situation.
The NHL believes the NHLPA and Thornton will contend that his reputation as an honest player — terminology Bylsma and Penguins general manager Ray Shero used to describe him Saturday afternoon — and Thornton's lack of history warrants a lesser suspension for his attack on Orpik.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.