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Leafs’ Ashton suspended two games for ‘extremely dangerous’ boarding

Nov 1, 2013, 3:38 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton has been suspended two games for boarding Calgary’s Derek Smith on Wednesday, the NHL announced.

“Ashton takes a couple of strides and forcefully shoves [Smith] in the numbers, causing Smith to crash violently into the boards,” explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan. “Although Smith is turning while receiving the pass, at no point during this play does Ashton see anything other than Smith’s back.

“The onus, therefore, is entirely upon Ashton to either avoid contact or, at the very least, minimize it.”

Shanahan also said Ashton hit Smith from an “extremely dangerous” distance from the boards.

Here’s the video:

As per the NHL CBA, Ashton will forfeit $8,615.38 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance fund. He’ll miss Toronto’s next two contests — Saturday in Vancouver, next Friday at home vs. New Jersey — and will be eligible to return on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Boston.

  1. mehetmet - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    so when does the NHL draw a ring around the outside of the ice, about 3 feet from the boards and say “No Hitting in this outside zone”….

    • newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Thats a little absurd.

      When the palyers (who are +6′-0″)…why not make it 7′-0″ from the boards so that a player like Chara on skates clears that ring too if checked from the blindside into the boards.

      Unless you want the NHL to have a new “little persons” league.

  2. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    It was deserved.

    That was a bad play by Ashton.

  3. charlieconway96 - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Both Smith and Ashton got lucky here, could’ve been a lot worse for both of them.

  4. britkei - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    This hit is far more egregious than a hit like John Scott’s. this type of hit, near the boards and from behind, will eventually get a player paralyzed or killed. Shanahan and the league need to address this more aggressively.

  5. terrier92 - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    If you think this was not a dangerous play you are either a moron or never played Anyone who has played knows this to be a dangerous avoidable play Kid had braincramp and will pay for it A hit like this is totally avoidable not necessary and deserves suspension Sadly braincramps will continue hope no one is seriously hurt

  6. sjsharks66 - Nov 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Terrier, sounds like you have hit the boards a few times yourself.

  7. storminator16 - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Ashton could have crippled Smith there. I have no doubt we are going to see something bad happen if the players/coaches don’t clean this game up. The league can’t do it all; I don’t think lengthy suspensions at this point.

    • storminator16 - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      I meant to say “I don’t think we are going to see the league hand down lengthy suspensions at this point”. They are far too busy worried about the optics of “John Scott” in the league. Priorities aren’t exactly right.

  8. pizzaman77 - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Man, and people call Kaleta a reckless buffoon.

    • pxland - Nov 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Just as he deserves.

  9. olhockeypop - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Wow I keep turning away wacthing this hit . I have a son playing @ the midget level and see these way to often . This kind of hit is just plain scary . After seeing the Scott hit and seeing this I believe this is way more dangerous of a hit then Scotts . Both Players no history of prior incidents and Scott gets 5 more games . Makes no sence to me I do not mind Scott getting 7 games for his hit ‘ but why only 2 here .Does Scott get 5 more because of his role if that is the case then make all fighting illegal and Throw guys out for the season ‘ have club lose the roster spot for the season as a fighting penalty then clubs wont sighn any fighters . Shannahan has to be more consistent with his judgments here .

    • storminator16 - Nov 1, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      100% agree. Shoving someone from behind is far more malicious than what Scott did in my opinion.

  10. zackkbake - Nov 2, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    This is going to happen every time if you do that.

  11. dewman8810 - Nov 2, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    The worst part of all of this is the fact the Shane O’Brien gets a 2 minute instigator penalty and a 10 minute misconduct to go along with the fight. That needs to stop. He’s doing exactly what he needs to do, let the idiots on the ice know that they can’t get away with hits like that. This has happened with pretty much every suspendable hit this season. Back in the old days you wouldn’t have hits like that because they knew they’d be spitting out some teeth later if they did. The league needs to get rid of the instigator rule for these cases.

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