April 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Rangers' Matt Remby suspended for 4 matches due to a head injury

Rangers' Matt Remby suspended for 4 matches due to a head injury

New York Rangers rookie forward Matt Rempe was suspended four games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety on Tuesday after striking New Jersey Devils defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler in the head on Monday night.

It is the first suspension of Rempe's 10-game NHL career. Rempe will forfeit $17,083.32, with the money going to the players' emergency assistance fund. He can appeal the suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who will have the final say on that appeal.

Remby received a game misconduct with 30 seconds left in the second period of the Rangers' 3-1 win over the Devils.

Siegenthaler held up near the red line after punting the ball into the offensive zone. Rempe skated toward him and extended his left arm to connect with Seigenthaler's head. Officials on the ice consulted and reviewed the play and confirmed that Remby was given a five-minute major due to elbowing and a game misconduct.

Seigenthaler did not return for the third period, and Devils coach Travis Green said when asked about his condition, “He's not in good shape.”

After the game, the Devils called for Remby to be suspended, with Green saying the Rangers forward had “some intent to injure” for his hit.

“He's a big guy, and he throws his elbows like that,” said 6-foot-7 Devils forward Curtis McDermid of Rimbey. “You have to learn how to hit properly and not hit players.”

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In its ruling, the NHL Department of Player Safety believed that Rempe raised his arm to Siegenthaler's head after realizing he had mistimed the check.

The counterargument from Rempe, the Rangers, and the NHLPA was that the contact was unavoidable because Siegenthaler stopped short and that Rempe may have just been preparing to impact the boards.

The NHL disagreed. “It is clear that Rempe was committed to getting a look on this play. After ending up in an approach angle that would have taken him across the front of Seigenthaler's body and potentially missing him completely, Rempe elected to extend his elbow upwards and away from his body,” the league said in its ruling. “In a dangerous manner, which resulted in it directly colliding with Seigenthaler’s head with great force.”

The four-game suspension means Remby will miss Tuesday's crucial game against the Carolina Hurricanes, as well as games against other Eastern Conference teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Sunday's showdown at Madison Square Garden against the New York Islanders.

Rempe quickly became one of the most divisive players in the NHL during his short career in the league. As well as being 6-7, he plays a physical game. Rangers fans chanted his name at Madison Square Garden, where Remby became a beloved hero despite not seeing the ice much. Through the win over the Devils on Monday, Remby has had nearly as many penalty minutes (54) as he has played (56:28) in his NHL career.

He made his debut in the Rangers' Stadium Series win over the Islanders at MetLife Stadium on February 18, batting in his first NHL turnover in that game.

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This was Remby's second misconduct in as many encounters against the Devils. On February 22, Remby was awarded a game penalty for an illegal check to the head of Devils forward Nathan Bastian just 2:22 into the first period. The NHL chose not to give Rempe any additional discipline for this hit. Bastian has not played any matches since then.

MacDermid tried to engage Rempe in a fight several times during Monday's contest to get revenge on Bastian, with Rempe refusing. After the hit on Siegenthaler, MacDermid dropped his gloves to fight Rempe and was denied again, with on-ice officials also getting involved.

“I asked him. There's a bit of code. I thought he was going to answer that. I don't know what he was told, but he said no,” MacDiarmid said of Remby. “And after a hit like that [on Bastian], it goes without saying that you have to answer the bell somehow and be a man about it. Then he delivers another blow, which leads to his expulsion and possible suspension. So, there's a right way to do things and a wrong way.”

MacDermid was given a 10-minute misconduct offense for trying to fight Rempe after the hit on Siegenthaler.