clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Robert Bortuzzo Suspended Two Games for Late Headshot on Jaromir Jagr

One of the key points of New Jersey's 0-1 loss to Pittsburgh last night was that Robert Bortuzzo hit Jaromir Jagr late and in the head - knocking him out of the game. The NHL has suspended Bortuzzo two games; this is a quick reaction to that news.

Robert Bortuzzo is out for the next two games for his late headshot on Jaromir Jagr last night.
Robert Bortuzzo is out for the next two games for his late headshot on Jaromir Jagr last night.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Earlier today, Robert Bortuzzo had a hearing with the National Hockey League for his late headshot on Jaromir Jagr in last night's 0-1 loss in Pittsburgh. Bortuzzo clearly hit Jagr in the head late in the second period, which immediately dropped Jagr to the ice.  Jagr was able to get up and head to the locker room under his own power, but he would not return to the game.  His status is currently unknown, though he did travel with the team.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety agreed that it was a late hit that had significant contact with Jagr's head.  As a result, Bortuzzo has been suspended for two games. Here's the video from the league that shows the hit at multiple angles and speeds.  It explains why Bortuzzo got two games.

Here are the key points: They noted that the hit itself was interference as the puck was well away from Jagr and Bortuzzo at the time of contact. They highlighted that Bortuzzo drove his shoulder into Jagr high - contacting the head - on purpose.  That was more than enough for supplemental discipline.  They noted that Bortuzzo has had no prior history as part of the explanation of his punishment.  Unfortunately, they also noted that Jagr has not been reportedly injured. While that's technically true that there is no report that he is injured, that there has been no statement of his status after the game or all day Wednesday makes that questionable.  He may not be injured and I hope he isn't; but he could still be declared out with one.  We just don't know.  At least they didn't factor in the lack of a penalty in the game.

Nevertheless, the league has punished Bortuzzo for his headshot and it is two games.  While I'm not pleased that they've taken his status, which is still unknown, into account; I think the punishment is warranted.  The Department of Player Safety was correct in their assessment of the hit itself and there is a suspension instead of something minor like a fine.  I just hope that, like most Devils fans, Jagr does not miss as much or more time than the two games Bortuzzo cannot play.