Overshadowed by a back-and-forth game against the Dallas Stars and Rick Nash's OT heroics, Columbus Blue Jackets center Michael Peca's incident with referee Greg Kimmerly went fairly unnoticed, even though it earned him a game misconduct.
That is until tonight, when the NHL announced it has suspended Peca indefinitely for making contact with the official on Friday night. Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch breaks down the incident:
At 5:21 of the second period, with the Blue Jackets leading the Stars 1-0, Peca was tripped up by Dallas forward Brenden Morrow, who swung his left leg -- and possibly his stick -- under Peca's right leg and sent him sailing.
Moments later, as Peca was getting up off the ice. Morrow redirected a Mike Rebeiro shot to score a power-play goal. Peca immediately skated behind the goal to plead his case with Kimmerly, who began skating in the other direction.
"The only contact was me grabbing his arm to slow him down," Peca said, "because he was skating away and I wanted to plead my case ... They've claiming I hit (a) linesman with my stick after I hit the glass with it, which is completely false."
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Peca has appealed the suspension, telling the Dispatch that he regrets some of his word choices but "I can't regret anything to do with abuse of an official, because I didn't abuse an official."
His hearing is later this week; Portzline writes that Peca can be suspended "a minimum of 10 games" under Rule 41, Category 2. Which is different than rule 41.2, apparently.