Jets’ Neal Pionk in concussion protocol, won’t travel with team

A sequence of plays that starts with Neal Pionk kneeing Rasmus Sandin, Jason Spezza then retaliates and a scrum ensues on the following faceoff.

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk is in concussion protocol and will not travel with the team on its upcoming road trip, head coach Paul Maurice announced.

Maurice said the team will recall a defenceman from AHL Manitoba but a decision on who that player would be has not yet been made.

Pionk was injured Sunday during a chaotic win over the Toronto Maple Leafs when Jason Spezza’s knee hit him in the head while Pionk was diving to chase a puck. Spezza was seemingly retaliating against Pionk, who shortly before had injured Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin with a knee-on-knee hit.

Pionk was suspended two games for the hit on Sandin. Spezza has an in-person hearing Tuesday which gives the NHL’s Department of Player Safety the option to suspend him more than five games.

The Jets host the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night then travel for road games against the Seattle Kraken Thursday and Vancouver Canucks Friday.

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