NHL Player Safety is interested in speaking to Dell after he threw the hit after leaving the puck for teammate Mattias Samuelsson behind the Buffalo net. No penalty was called on the play and Ottawa expects Batherson to miss some time, putting him out of next week’s NHL All-Star Game.
“Drake looks like he’s gonna be [out] a lot longer,” said Senators head coach D.J. Smith. “Kid has a chance to go to his first All-Star game, it’s a bad play by the goalie. He’s done it before. We’ve seen all the replays. Any other player in the game that does that, you know, you have to go out and face the music. Certainly the league will look at whatever. But it’s a bad play.”
As you see in the video, Batherson’s left ankle crashes awkwardly into the board after Dell interferes with him.
“He wasn’t in the path of the goalie and, at the last second, the goalie steps back and hits him,” Smith said. “When I come in and I see replays of him doing it other times and running out to hit other players, you know it’s a pattern. It’s unfortunate because our best, leading scorer, is going to be out a significant amount of time on a play that didn’t need to happen.”
When asked about the play after the game, Dell said he hadn’t seen the hit yet and was not trying to injure Batherson.
“I was just trying to buy some time for my defenceman and step into his lane,” he said. I hope he’s all right. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. That sucks. I really didn’t want to hurt anybody. I hope he’s all right.”
Should NHL Player Safety punish Dell, he would be the first NHL goaltender suspended since Jamie McLennan was given a five-game ban for slashing Johan Franzen during the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs. McLennan never served the suspension as he retired a year later after one season in the Asia League Ice Hockey.
In 31 games this season, Batherson leads the Senators in scoring with 13 goals and 34 points. He was the only Ottawa player named to the Atlantic Division All-Star roster last week.
“It definitely stings,” said Senators captain Brady Tkachuk. “It definitely sucks. Quite frankly, it was just a bulls— play. What happened was unnecessary and dirty. You just feel for Bath. He’s put in so much work to get to where he’s at.”
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Sabres’ Dell to have hearing after injuring Senators’ Batherson on hit originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source: Yahoo Sports