Rasmus Andersson’s four game suspension upheld on appeal to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
The Calgary Flames will remain without blueliner Rasmus Andersson for three more games, including the 2023 NHL Heritage Classic on Sunday. That’s the verdict from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who heard Andersson’s appeal of his suspension on Monday and released his decision on Tuesday.
As Andersson’s suspension was only four games, he is not eligible for a further appeal to a neutral arbitrator.
(Considering Andersson’s suspension was announced on Saturday for a Friday incident, this is easily the fastest the process has progressed.)
In his two-page ruling, Bettman essentially parried Andersson’s arguments that the suspension was too steep and concluded that the mitigating factors surrounding the hit weren’t sufficient to warrant any reduction.
Of note, here’s one snippet from the ruling:
“In making this determination, it is also important for me to note that I have given no weight to the NHLPA and Mr. Andersson’s argument that a reduction in Mr. Andersson’s suspension could be justified, in whole or in part, by the fact that the current suspension necessarily precludes his participation in the upcoming 2023 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic taking place on Sunday, October 29, 2023. Consistency of the enforcement standard is a fundamental tenet of supplemental discipline, and the Department of Player Safety should not be asked to create or enforce a standard that distinguishes between the relative importance of Regular Season games.”
Andersson will next be eligible to play in the Flames’ game on Nov. 1 against Dallas.
With Andersson unavailable, the Flames have six defenders eligible to play on their active roster: MacKenzie Weegar, Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, Jordan Oesterle and Dennis Gilbert. With the Flames current up against the cap and using all of the space created by placing Oliver Kylington on long-term injury reserve, they would need to place Kevin Rooney on LTIR in order to create space to recall an additional defenceman.
Andersson serves the second game of his suspension on Tuesday night when the Flames host the New York Rangers.
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