October 19, 2019

Washington Nationals suspend Jonathan Papelbon

The Washington Nationals have suspended closer Jonathan Papelbon for the remainder of the season, general manager Mike Rizzo announced today.

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Washington Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins suspended for PED violation

From Washington Redskins press release:

STATEMENT BY AN NFL SPOKESPERSON:

Jarvis Jenkins of the Washington Redskins has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2013 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Jenkins will be eligible to return to the Redskins’ active roster on Monday, September 30 following the team’s September 29 game against the Oakland Raiders.

Jenkins is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

STATEMENT BY DEFENSIVE END JARVIS JENKINS:

“When I learned that I tested positive for a substance that is banned under the NFL policy, I was shocked and confused.  It’s an obscure substance that I’ve never even heard of, and I still don’t know how it got into my body. My only guess is that it came from one of the supplements I was taking around the time of the test, even though none of them listed anything banned.

“I’m very sorry for the effect of this situation on my teammates and coaches, and I also apologize to my family and all Redskins fans.  I will be very, very ready to contribute as soon as I get back for Game 5.”

With Adam Carriker’s injury that will keep him out for the season, and Rob Jackson’s similar suspension, the Redskins will be considerably depleted at the left defensive end spot for the first quarter of the season. Second year player Chris baker and veteran DE Kedric Golston will see more playing time.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom suspended for Game Four

Shortly before 11:00 pm EST, the NHL handed down its ruling on Nicklas Backstrom’s match penalty for cross-checking the Boston Bruins Rich Peverley after the horn in Game Three’s 4-3 loss. The news was not good for the Caps, as NHL Player Safety Vice President Brendan Shanahan announced that Backstrom would be suspended one game for the infraction.

Shanahan called Backstrom’s reaction “excessive and reckless”, but cites Backstrom’s history of no supplemental discipline before handing out judgment. [Read more…]

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green Suspended Three Games for Headhunting

Early Friday evening the Washington Capitals’ flagging playoff push took a potentially serious step back when defenseman Mike Green was suspended by the NHL for a high hit on Tampa Bay’s Brett Connolly midway through Thursday night’s game between the Caps and Lightning.

From the NHL:

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green has been suspended, without pay, for three games for delivering an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward  Brett Connollyduring NHL Game #1001 in Washington on Thursday, March 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Green will forfeit $85,135.14. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 11:03 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play.

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Ovechkin bows out of All-Star game: “My heart is not there.”

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, suspended for the next three games for his hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zybnek Michalek, will not attend the NHL All-Star Game this weekend.  Ovechkin, speaking with the media at Kettler Capitals Iceplex after the morning skate before taking on the Boston Bruins this evening, said, “My heart is not there. I got suspended, so why I have to go there?”

“I love the [All-Star] game, it’s a great event. I love to be there but I’m suspended. I don’t want to be a target. I feel I’m not deserving to be there right now. I got suspended, I have to be suspended so that’s why I give up my roster [spot].”

General Manager George McPhee spoke after Ovechkin, and reiterated the team’s disappointment in the three-game suspension.

Ovechkin reflected on the suspension, and being viewed as a “repeat offender” in the eyes of the league.  “Most bad thing is it’s going to be all my career it’s going to be like that.  My game is play physical, my game is play hard and I don’t think it was bad hit, dirty hit. Yeah I jumped but [Michalek] don’t get hurt. I don’t get two minutes. I don’t think it was three-game suspension.”

Ovechkin’s teammates this morning joined in that view, as well as expressing surprise that Michalek himself wasn’t disciplined for his hit moments later on Matt Hendricks, which appeared to be a blatant, intentional elbow to Hendricks’ head.  Michalek received a two-minute penalty, but avoided any supplementary discipline.

***Quotes for this post were taken from pubished sources.

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Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

Ovechkin suspended, Michalek cleared for separate hits on Sunday

The NHL announced this afternoon that Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will be suspended for 3 games and fined an $154,677.75 for his hit on Zbynek Michalek Sunday in the Caps 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Ovechkin was not called for a penalty on the play.

NHL Vice President Brendan Shanahan delivered the ruling a little after 6:30 pm. He cited the fact that Ovechkin’s skates left the ice prior to initial contact with Michalek, and that Ovechkin made contact with Michalek’s head on the follow-through, as the reason for the length of the suspension.

In a separate incident later in the game, Michalek was penalized for a hit on the Caps Matt Hendricks where the Pens’ forward hit Hendricks with his elbow in the head along the boards.  Michalek was cleared by the NHL, which chose not to fine or suspend the player.  Hendricks told reporters after Caps practice today that “I don’t think it was a clean hit,” but apparently the league office didn’t think the blatant elbow was reason enough for suspension.

Watching the replay, especially in slow motion, one can understand why Ovechkin was suspended for the hit.  He clearly jumps before contact is made, and as Shanahan clearly stated in the suspension video, once Ovechkin left the ice he was responsible for any contact made with Michalek. And though initial contact was shoulder-to-shoulder, Ovechkin’s momentum clearly carried him through to Michalek’s head.

What’s not understandable is how Michalek avoided supplementary discipline for his blatant and intentional elbow to Hendricks’ head.  There is no ambiguity, no questioning the intent or motive.  Michalek intentionally elbowed Hendricks in the head.  Period.  Sometimes plays along the boards can get muddied, where intent is not as clear as an open ice elbow, such as the one delivered by Rene Bourque on Nicklas Backstrom.  But that’s not the case here.  It’s as clear as Ovechkin jumping to hit Michalek that Michalek intentionally elbowed Hendricks in the head.

One has to wonder if Hendricks were a skilled player, or injured, if Michalek would have faced supplementary discipline.  The NHL is making great strides in supplementary discipline, and the suspension videos are commendable.  But meting out discipline based on injury — instead of intent — is still lamentable.

CAPS NOTES:  The Capitals returned defenseman Tomas Kundratek to AHL Hershey today.  Kundratek played in five games with the Caps, making his NHL debut Jan. 11.  He did not register a point and collected two penalty minutes in his five games.

Nicklas Backstrom skated without pads for about five minutes before practice, marking the first time the Swedish pivot has taken to the ice since Jan. 6, three days afer being elbowed by then-Calgary Flames forward Rene Bourque.  Backstrom is on the injured list for the Caps and is out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms.

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Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

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