Aaron Dell throws hit on Drake Batherson
(Screenshot/ TSN)

It isn’t very often you see an NHL goalie throw a bodycheck.

Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Aaron Dell is facing potential supplementary discipline after throwing a nasty hit against Ottawa on Tuesday. Dell laid out Senators’ forward Drake Batherson behind the net in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators were leading the Sabres 3-0 at the time of the incident. Dell appeared frustrated and took out his anger on the unsuspecting Batherson.

Dell threw an elbow on Batherson as he was chasing Sabres’ defenseman Mattias Samuelsson behind the net. Batherson fell to the ice nursing an apparent leg injury.

Batherson needed help going to the locker room and didn’t return to Tuesday’s game. Dell wasn’t assessed a penalty on the play.


The Ottawa Senators obviously weren’t happy with the hit by Dell. Captain Brady Tkachuk challenged Dell, while coach DJ Smith had a lengthy chat with referee Pierre Lambert before the start of the second period.

TSN Insider Darren Dreger is already reporting that the NHL will be taking a look at the hit by Dell. The NHL may choose to suspend the goalie, especially if Batherson is injured long-term.

This actually isn’t the first hit from Dell this season, as he also laid a bodycheck on Nashville’s Eeli Tolvanen earlier in January. Dell did in fact receive an interference penalty for that play.

Dell also laid out Vegas’ captain Mark Stone during the 2019-20 NHL season. Dell has a history of hitting players, which increases the likelihood of supplementary discipline this time around.

The last NHL goalie to be suspended was Calgary Flames’ goalie Jamie McLennan back in 2007. McLennan received a five-game suspension for slashing Detroit Red Wings’ forward Johan Franzen in the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It hasn’t been a fun season for Dell in Buffalo, as the backup goalie is 1-7-1 with a .893 save percentage and 3.92 GAA. The Sabres are sixth in the Atlantic Division standings. Although Dell has struggled, that doesn’t excuse the cheapshots.

It sucks to see an exciting young forward in Batherson injured on such an unnecessary play. The 23-year-old Canadian forward leads the Sens in scoring with 33 points in 30 contests. He’s also Ottawa’s lone representative at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game in February.

Update: Drake Batherson will be out long-term with an ankle injury. He won’t go to the All-Star Game (via Bruce Garrioch).