The NHL has suspended Aaron Rome four games for his hit last night on Nathan Horton, thereby assuring the depth defenseman is done for the season. Earlier today it was announced that Horton, who has been released from the hospital, is also out for the series.
The reasoning (the short tweety version):
"Two factors were considered in reaching this decision," said NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. "The hit by Rome was clearly beyond what is acceptable in terms of how late it was delivered after Horton had released the puck and it caused a significant injury."
TSN's Bob McKenzie also said Rome reached out to Horton via text (text?) to apologize and say he didn't intend to hurt him.
This shouldn't be a surprise. If Rome isn't tossed it would be open season on all players out there and the league would have been exposed as more of a laughing stock than its past inconsistencies have already made it out to be. Look at Hamhuis and Mitchell last year: concussions are serious business. Rules are pointless if you're not going to enforce them. This isn't to suggest Rome is a head hunter; we've seen him play for two years now and he isn't at all. He is however responsible for his actions and if that was McQuaid leveling Henrik we'd expect the league to act in similar fashion.
After the jump watch the hit again and debate the merits of the suspension if you'd like, but this is cut and dry in my view.
Ballard has to return to action tomorrow and since Tanev is his lifeline, I suspect Alberts takes a seat. To suggest Vancouver needs a strong game four rebound is an understatement.