2017-18 NHL Suspension Tracker: Zac Rinaldo in trouble again

Matt Martin talks with the media about Matthew Tkachuk’s spear attempt from the Calgary Flames bench.

We’re about halfway through the 2017-18 season and we’ve already seen some pretty significant suspensions.

Luke Witkowski and Radko Gudas have the longest suspensions on the season so far, at 10 games each, while Matthew Tkachuk has become pretty familiar with the NHL’s player safety department after earning his second suspension in less than a month.

Here’s a list of the suspensions to date, which we’ll be updating as the season progresses, with the most recent cases at the top:

Fredrik Claesson, D, Senators

Date: Dec. 27 vs. Bruins
Infraction: Illegal check to the head of Boston’s Noel Acciari. Claesson was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Number of games suspended: 2
Salary forfeited: $6,989.24
Return date: Jan. 3 vs. Red Wings
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Zac Rinaldo, LW, Coyotes

Date: Dec. 23 vs. Avalanche
Infraction: Punching an unsuspecting opponent, Colorado’s Samuel Girard.
Number of games suspended: 6
Salary forfeited: $22,580.64
Worth noting: This is Rinaldo’s fifth NHL suspension. He has now been suspended a total of 25 games over the course of his career.

Return date: Jan. 13 vs. Sharks
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Erik Johnson, D, Avalanche

Date: Dec. 16 vs. Lightning
Infraction: Boarding Tampa Bay’s Vladislav Namestnikov. Johnson was issued a major penalty and game misconduct at the time.
Number of games suspended: 2
Salary forfeited: $64,516
Return date: Dec. 23 vs. Coyotes
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Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Flames

Date: Dec. 6 vs. Maple Leafs
Infraction: Unsportsmanlike conduct, for spearing Toronto’s Matt Martin from the bench. No penalty was called at the time.
Number of games suspended: 1
Salary forfeited: $11,280.49
Worth noting: This is Tkachuk’s second suspension in less than a month. He was sidelined one game for unsportsmanlike conduct during a Nov. 15 brawl between the Red Wings and Flames.
Return date: Dec. 9 vs. Canucks
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Brenden Dillon, D, Sharks

Date: Dec. 5 vs. Capitals
Infraction: Slashing Washington’s Madison Bowey. He received a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.
Number of games suspended: 1
Salary forfeited: $17,580.65
Worth noting:

Return date: Dec. 9 vs. Senators
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Cedric Paquette, C, Lightning

Date: Nov. 29 vs. Bruins
Infraction: Boarding Boston’s Torey Krug. He was assessed a minor penalty on the play.
Number of games suspended: 1
Salary forfeited: $4,368
Worth noting: Krug was not injured, and even went on to score the eventual game-winner for the Bruins.
Return date: Dec. 5 vs. Islanders
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Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avalanche

Date: Nov. 25 vs. Flames
Infraction: Cross-checking Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk. He was assessed a two-minute minor penalty.
Number of games suspended: 4
Salary forfeited: $119,815.68
Worth noting:

Return date: Dec. 7 @ Lightning
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Austin Watson, LW, Predators

Date: Nov. 18 @ Avalanche
Infraction: Boarding Colorado’s Dominic Toninato. He was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
Number of games suspended: 2
Salary forfeited: $11,828
Worth noting:

Return date: Nov. 24 @ Blues
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Radko Gudas, D, Flyers

Date: Nov. 16 @ Jets
Infraction: Slashing Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perreault in head/neck area. He was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Number of games suspended: 10
Salary forfeited: $408,536.60
Worth noting:It wasn’t an accident. I think he’s been known for doing stuff like that. I certainly don’t appreciate it but I’m sure the league will take care of it.” – Perreault
Expected return date: Dec. 12 vs. Maple Leafs
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Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Flames

Date: Nov. 15 @ Red Wings
Infraction: Unsportsmanlike conduct for his role during Detroit/Flames brawl
Number of games suspended: 1
Salary forfeited: $11,280.49
Worth noting: Tkachuk was penalized by on-ice officials for spearing Luke Witkowski as he left the ice, which had some viewers scratching their heads and speculating that Tkachuk’s budding reputation as an agitator is what ultimately landed him in hot water.

Return date: Nov. 20 @ Capitals
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Luke Witkowski, RW, Red Wings

Date: Nov. 15 vs. Flames
Infraction: Returning to the ice after being ejected by an official during a brawl against Calgary
Number of games suspended: 10
Salary forfeited: $40,322.58
Worth noting: Witkowski’s suspension was automatic, according to section 70.6 of the NHL Rulebook:

“Any player who has been ordered to the dressing room by the officials and returns to his bench or to the ice surface for any reason before the appropriate time shall be assessed a game misconduct and shall be suspended automatically without pay for the next ten (10) regular League and/or Play-off games.”

Return date: Dec. 11 vs. Panthers
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Erik Gudbranson, D, Canucks

Date: Oct. 19 @ Bruins
Infraction: Boarding Boston’s Frank Vatrano
Number of games suspended: 1
Salary forfeited: $18,817.20
Return date: Oct. 22 @ Red Wings
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Tom Wilson, RW, Capitals

Date: Oct. 1 @ Blues (pre-season)
Infraction: Boarding St. Louis’ Sam Blais.
Number of games suspended: 4 (regular season)
Salary forfeited: $97,561
Worth noting: Wilson is known for his tough style of play, but hadn’t been suspended prior to the 2017-18 pre-season, which saw him incur two separate suspensions in the span of two weeks.

“For four years, five years, you just go out there, you play your game … And then this thing happens in the pre-season — an interference call — and now you’re playing with a bit of a record now and it’s maybe a little bit tougher, but that’s part of the sport.” – Wilson

Return date: Oct. 13
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Andrew Desjardins, LW, Rangers

Date: Sept. 23 @ Devils
Infraction: Illegal check to the head on New Jersey’s Miles Wood.
Number of games suspended: 2 (pre-season)
Salary forfeited: N/A
Worth noting: Desjardins was on a PTO with the Rangers when this infraction occurred, and he failed to earn a contract with club out of training camp.
Return date: Oct. 5 vs. Avalanche
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Tom Wilson, RW, Capitals

Date: Sept. 23 vs. Blues
Infraction: Interference on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas
Number of games suspended: 2 (pre-season)
Salary forfeited: N/A
Worth noting: Despite his reputation as an edgy player, this is Wilson’s first career suspension.
Return date: Sept. 29 @ Hurricanes
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