Nyquist, who responded to a cross-check from Spurgeon by pitchforking him in the face in a game Sunday, had a phone hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety Wednesday afternoon after waiving his right to an in-person hearing. Nyquist was assessed a double-minor on the play and Spurgeon was able to stay in the game, luckily avoiding serious injury.
Nyquist said he had no intention to high stick Spurgeon. The 27-year-old Swede had no prior history of supplemental discipline.
“This isn’t the player that I am,” he told reporters following the game. “I haven’t been in this situation before. It’s new for me. I hope people don’t think that’s the kind of player that I am.”
The suspension will cost Nyquist $158,333.34 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
This was the second time in the past year a Wild player was the victim of a nasty stick swing. Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks received a six-game ban (five regular season, one post-season) for flagrantly swinging his stick at the face of Charlie Coyle in retaliation to being hit to the ice. Both incidents happened to take place at the same end of the ice in the Xcel Energy Center.