Corey Perry has been suspended five games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for elbowing Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the head during the 2020 Bridgestone Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
The hit, which came within a matter of minutes of the biggest event in the regular season for the league, was one that was avoidable. Though Perry expressed remorse, both through his tone and sentiments, after the game for the incident, that didn’t stop the ban hammer from being swung.
In our view, the suspension is justified. Though he does not appear to be intentionally targeting the head, it’s still the type of play that the league is trying to get rid of. The fact that Ellis has a likely concussion from the hit, the primary point of contact was the head, and the fact that it looks like Perry could have avoided the contact altogether on the play all played into the length of the suspension.
Dallas’ Corey Perry has been suspended for five games for Elbowing Nashville’s Ryan Ellis. https://t.co/X7wuSPXpKa— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) January 3, 2020
Perry has been suspended twice in his career, with the last one more than six years ago and the first more than eight years ago. In 2009, Perry was suspended four games for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. In 2013, he again served a four game suspension, this time for a blind-side hit to Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker:
Because of how long it’s been since his last suspensions, Perry is not considered a repeat offender when it comes to the length of the discipline. However, Player Safety could have considered his history when determining the length of the action. Because it was a phone hearing, the length of the suspension was limited to five games or less.
Perry will also forfeit approximately $96,000 as a result of missing the next three games. The amount is calculated based on the number of days he will miss while serving the suspension, and by the end of his five game suspension he’ll have missed 12 total days of the season. (Calculated based on his base salary of $1,500,000 divided by 190 days in the regular season, times the number of days he’ll miss.)
The suspension also means he’ll be ineligible to play for his first opportunity to return to Honda Center in Anaheim, where he spent the first 14 years of his NHL career playing for the Anaheim Ducks. The former Ducks mainstay was bought out of his contract this summer by the organization.