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NHL suspends Bolts’ Erne three preseason games

Sep 19, 2013, 6:47 PM EDT

The NHL’s are hitting prospects who are throwing questionable hits where it hurts: by ruling them out of valuable exhibition contests. The league decided to suspend Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Adam Erne three preseason games for his hit to the head on St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka.

Here’s Brendan Shanahan’s explanation:

Detroit Red Wings fans might note that Erne received a three-game suspension while their prospect Teemu Pulkkinen was docked four for his boarding check on Chicago’s Mike Kostka. Some might call it apples and oranges, but surely there will be at least a few others who want to nitpick that one-game difference.

Either way, the league might be making a quality judgment by taking away preseason instead of regular season games, but it actually makes a lot of sense for prospects who might be a year or more from making an impact during NHL contests that matter.

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