The NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Stars forward Ryan Garbutt two games for kneeing Edmonton’s Taylor Hall in Tuesday’s game at American Airlines Center.
The incident happened in the third period of the game. As Hall was carrying the puck in the neutral zone, Garbutt caught the Oilers forward with a knee-on-knee hit. Garbutt received a tripping minor. Hall was not injured.
Garbutt had a phone hearing with the league Thursday morning following the Stars’ practice in Frisco. The suspension was announced a couple hours later. Garbutt will forfeit $43,902.44 in salary. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
This isn’t the first time the league has disciplined Garbutt. He served a five-game suspension in October 2013 for charging Anaheim’s Dustin Penner. He was fined during last season’s playoffs for spearing Anaheim’s Corey Perry.
Tuesday was Garbutt’s first game back in the lineup after missing three with an upper body injury. Now, with Garbutt out again, Stars coach Lindy Ruff will have to shuffle his lines for Friday’s game against Minnesota.
“I don’t find that difficult. It’s a good opportunity for somebody always,” Ruff said. “I like [Cody] Eakin with [Jamie] Benn and [Tyler] Seguin. It changes a little bit below, where I’d like somebody to grab the bull by the horns.”
Garbutt’s absence will mean that Colton Sceviour, who has been a healthy scratch the past two games, will be back in the lineup.
“We’ll give him a good opportunity,” Ruff said. “Here’s your chance.”
Thursday practice notes
Captain Jamie Benn, goaltender Kari Lehtonen and defenseman Alex Goligoski all were back on the ice Thursday morning after sitting out Wednesday’s practice. Goligoski was ill and Benn and Lehtonen were off for maintenance.
With the Stars playing back-to-back games this weekend (vs. Minnesota Friday/at Colorado Saturday), Ruff said there is a good chance that backup Anders Lindback will get a game. Lehtonen has started eight straight games. Lindback hasn’t started a game since Nov. 8, and his last appearance was Nov. 18 against Carolina.
“That’s something that is a good possibility,” Ruff said when asked if Lindback might play this weekend.
Here’s how the Stars lined up in practice Thursday morning.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Eaves
Erik Cole – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Colton Sceviour
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Travis Moen/Ryan Garbutt
Trevor Daley – Jason Demers
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jamie Oleksiak
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.