Labank gets one-game suspension for Sharks
Kevin Labank has been suspended for San Jose Sharks’ next NHL fixture after slew-footing St Louis Blues’ Tyler Bozak.
Following a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety the decision was made for him to miss the Sharks’ next game against the Washington Capitals.
While the winger remained on the ice after the incident, this was reviewed once the game had finished and showed dangerous play with Labank sliding in behind his opponent and taking him down.
First career suspension
Up to now, Labank has had a clean disciplinary record during his career and while this is regarded as a minor infraction, the 25-year-old has still been hit with a $23,625 fine.
The decision was explained by a representative of the NHL Player Safety committee who stated: “What causes this play to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the speed the players are traveling and their proximity to the boards … Labanc leaves Bozak with little to no ability to defend or protect himself prior to hitting the boards with force.”
Labank’s return comes against the Carolina Hurricanes in what will likely be an entertaining face-off between the two sides, with the latter at the summit of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference.
Labank accepts decision
Following the verdict, Labank revealed that he thought the decision was fair but that there was no malice in his actions.
He stated: “I think it was just a fast play,” Labanc said after the game. “I was just trying to go in and beat him to the puck and I think (Bozak) leaned on me and then we’re trying to create a battle and then we kind of ran into each other and I went down.
“It wasn’t anything intentional. I didn’t look at the replay of it, but I think just trying to battle hard and create a battle in the corner.”
Labank has had a positive start to the NHL campaign posting stats of two goals and two assists in 11 match-ups, with the Sharks currently sitting in sixth place in the Western Conference Pacific Division.