On Friday night, Predators defenseman Anton Volchenkov delivered a hit to Flames Michael Ferland that took him out of the game. The Department of Player Safety decided a phone call was necessary, and after rescheduling from yesterday to today, they passed their sentence:
Nashville defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended 4 games for an illegal check to the head on Calgary forward Michael Ferland.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 2, 2014
Volchenkov will have to sit for the rest of the road trip, and is eligible to return for the Preds' first home game back against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 11.
The Russian native has spent the entire season on the second pair with Seth Jones, taking the toughest zone starts on the team. It's going to be interesting to see how this shifts the make up of the D corps. Yes, Victor Bartley will most likely see his first game of the season (as soon as tonight) but does he slot in with Jones? Ryan Ellis has plenty of chemistry with Jones, and has been playing well enough to earn a spot higher up in the lineup. However, Ellis is killing it with extremely favorable zone starts. Peter Laviolette may have to shift up his deployment, or Ellis is going to have to get used to starting in the defensive zone most of the time, rather than the exact opposite.
UPDATE: Here is the video explaining the decision.
<iframe src="http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/embed?playlist=660734" frameborder="0" width="640" height="395"></iframe>
Per the release of Player Safety:
Nashville Predators defenseman Anton Volchenkov has been suspended for four games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of Calgary Flames forward Michael Ferland during NHL Game No. 151 in Calgary on Friday, October 31, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 19:06 of the second period.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Volchenkov will forfeit $21,505.36. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.