Less than a minute into the third period of Tuesday’s game, with the Montreal Canadiens on the power play, Max Domi and Florida Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad came together along the boards. As the play went on, Domi continued to engage Ekblad, ultimately culminating with Domi punching the unsuspecting blue-liner in the face.
Max Domi given the rest of the night off after sucker punching Aaron Ekblad pic.twitter.com/T9kZzxSiSC— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) September 20, 2018
Domi was assessed a roughing penalty for failing to let go once the puck was gone, and sent off the ice with a match penalty besides.
An automatic one-game suspension was set to follow, but after reviewing the situation, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has decided to extend the ban to five games, which is the remainder of the pre-season.
Montreal’s Max Domi suspended for the remainder of the preseason for roughing Florida’s Aaron Ekblad. https://t.co/OoZ1wP0Sv5— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) September 20, 2018
Domi had received an automatic one-game suspension with the Arizona Coyotes late in the 2015-16 season. Occurring over 18 months ago, that would not have factored into the length of the current suspension.
He will be eligible to return for the Canadiens season opener on October 3 in Toronto.