NHL Department of Player Safety announces punishment for Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin

Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin was assessed a match penalty during last night’s wild 7-6 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning after he retaliated against forward Mathieu Joseph with a punch to the face.

This prompted an automatic hearing from the NHL Department of Player Safety, and they’ve rendered their decision. Larkin has been suspended for one game for his actions, meaning that he won’t play in tomorrow’s game against the Vancouver Canucks:

The NHL offered the following explanation:

“Larkin and Joseph race towards a loose puck. Larkin cuts in front of Joseph to establish position. Joseph shoves Larkin, causing him to hit the boards and fall to the ice. Larkin then gets to his feet, finds Joseph, and swings wildly, punching the unsuspecting Joseph in the face with a gloved hand with sufficient force to knock him to the ice. This is roughing.

“This is not a case of two players who willingly engage in a mutual confrontation. Joseph has no warning that he is about to be punched, and Larkin gives him no time to brace for contact, defend himself, or choose to engage in the altercation. We understand that Larkin is frustrated on this play, but as our department has established in the past, players are not excused from punishment merely because they are acting in response to the actions of another player. What causes this play to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the retaliatory nature of the punch, and the force with which it is delivered to an unsuspecting opponent.”

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