The Dallas Stars have made their first appointment with the Department of Player Safety this morning. News broke late last night that blueliner Jamie Oleksiak would be having a discussion with the arbiters of justice for his illegal check to the head of Philadelphia Flyers forward Chris VandeVelde.
Here’s the hit in question:
In the play, VandeVelde has his head down and doesn’t even see Oleksiak coming in on him. If I had to guess, I’d say Oleksiak gets 1-2 games because he hit an unsuspecting player when he could have avoided the hit and the principal point of contact was the head. Similar hits have garnered short suspensions in years past. However, the Department of Player Safety is not the most consistent when doling out punishments, so it could be as little as a fine and as many as four games.
Since the Stars play again tonight in Chicago (because flying from Philadelphia to Chicago on a back-to-back makes total sense) the hearing should occur fairly soon. The good news is Dallas has more than enough bodies on defense on the road trip to accommodate any potential suspensions that comes from Oleksiak’s hearing.
We’ll have to wait until warm-ups to see what the potential lineup could be after hearing from the Department of Player Safety. With the team having played yesterday afternoon, a morning skate today will most likely be heavily optional, if there is one at all.
Puck drop in Chicago tonight is 6 PM CST and televised locally on FSSW. As always, you can catch Razor Reaugh and Craig Ludwig with the call on The Ticket (1310 AM / 96.7 FM).