Monday morning, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alexander Kerfoot will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a dangerous hit he threw on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson Saturday night. Kerfoot received a minor penalty for boarding and while there may have not been malice behind the hit, it was a very reckless and a play that deserves a second look from the league.
The hit in question occurred late in the second period of Colorado’s 5-3 loss to the Maple Leafs. Kerfoot chased a loose puck behind the Avalanche net and cross-checked Johnson from behind, sending him into the boards head first. It’s the kind of play that can have absolutely devastating consequences.
Luckily, Johnson was not hurt and he remained in the game.
Kerfoot takes a bad boarding penalty against Johnson pic.twitter.com/lKCv18tQtX— Flintor (@TheFlintor) November 24, 2019
Knowing how poorly the NHL often handles these type of plays, the fact that Johnson wasn’t seriously injured will likely impact the ruling - but it shouldn’t. The league should punish the act, not the outcome.
According to the NHL, the reason for the hearing is as follows:
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: boarding. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
Alex Kerfoot has been handed a two game suspension for the hit.
Toronto’s Alexander Kerfoot has been suspended for two games for Boarding Colorado’s Erik Johnson. https://t.co/Q1i23tNvVr— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 25, 2019