Ryan Garbutt's good will from his great season last year might have finally run out.
The Dallas Stars winger will have another hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety, on Thursday, this time because of a slew foot of Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets.
In the waning minutes of a another disastrous 5-2 loss, Garbutt was attempting to chase down a loose puck in a battle with the Jets forward/defenseman and in the ensuing battle, showed perfect form while slew-footing Byfuglien. Garbutt was penalized on the play, and will receive a hearing apparently for just this one incident -- however, the league will almost certainly take into account he was called for nearly the same thing earlier in the game after tripping up Michael Hutchinson in net.
Video of both incidents below:
Garbutt will almost certainly be facing a bit of a hefty suspension here, as he is only a few games removed from a two-game suspension for kneeing Edmonton's Taylor Hall. Considering his suspension and fine last year for similar transgressions, Garbutt is firmly on top of the "repeat offenders" list and could have the NHL come down hard for another incident so close to his suspension.
More than the NHL, Garbutt will have to do some heavy explaining to his coaches and his team. Lindy Ruff has shown both patience and anger with Garbutt over these sorts of problems, and it's extremely frustrating to see these issues pop up after what was easily Garbutt's best game of the season against Montreal.
Garbutt is a player, when he's smart, that can be very effective with his speed and physical nature on the forecheck. Unlike Antoine Roussel, however, he has yet to really find a way to truly dial down the mistakes that continue to hurt his team again and again and this time it's going to be interesting to see how the Stars react after his suspension is carried out.