Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been suspended for 4 games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine.
The incident occurred during the final seconds of the Flames’ 3-1 loss to the Blue Jackets on Friday, October 20, 2023. With just 5 seconds left in the game, Andersson delivered a high, forceful hit that made direct contact with Laine’s head, causing the Blue Jackets star to fall face-first onto the ice.
Rasmus Andersson with a high hit on Patrik Laine who is very slow to get up after 🤕 pic.twitter.com/v8nUjdPHaH
— Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) October 21, 2023
Andersson received a 5-minute major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct on the play. The Department of Player Safety determined the hit warranted further discipline, suspending Andersson for 4 games without pay.
In their video explanation, Player Safety stated that while Andersson did not target the head, he took an poor angle of approach and elevated into the hit, making significant contact with Laine’s head. They noted the lateness of the hit, with the game already out of reach, made it worse.
This suspension will cost Andersson $103,448 in lost salary. The Flames will sorely miss his services during the suspension, as the 23-year-old averages over 22 minutes per game and is a key member of both special teams units.
Laine’s status remains uncertain after he left the game following the hit. The Blue Jackets have only said he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Andersson took responsibility, saying he felt bad and did not intend to injure Laine.
The incident sparked an altercation, with Blue Jackets defenseman Erik Gudbranson immediately jumping Andersson in retaliation. More scrums broke out as the game ended.
Andersson will serve the 4-game suspension when the Flames take on Detroit, New York, St. Louis, and Edmonton. He will be eligible to return on November 1 against the Stars.