Dalton Prout gets one-game suspension for punch on Kucherov
Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout has been suspended one game for his "forceful punch" to the Lightning's Nikita Kucherov in Sunday's game.
The NHL Department of Player Safety announced the ruling after a phone hearing with Prout today, explaining that Kucherov was "unsuspecting" and noting that it wasn't a case where the two players were "squaring off in confrontation."
Kucherov left the game shortly after serving his own roughing penalty, though is expected to return ot the lineup tonight against the Maple Leafs.
It's likely Prout's lack of discipline history played into getting suspended just one game, Director of Player Safety director Patrick Burke said the Columbus' defenseman's actions were not an acceptable way of defending a teammate. Kucherov was part of a scrum behind the Lightning net when Prout came in with his right fist.
“Kucherov has no reason to believe that a punch may be thrown by Prout,” Burke said.