Nathan Bastian was in rough shape after his hit from Matthew Rempe
Photo credit: NHL

Rangers rookie lands illegal check to the head, should result in suspension longer than Rielly's

Published February 23, 2024 at 8:44
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

Throughout the season, the New York Rangers have seemed to be in headlines at least once a week for a big hit, questionable hit or retaliation and last night was no different. As the Rangers and New Jersey Devils went to battle in New Jersey, it did not take long for things to get heated as just over two minutes into the first period, Rangers center Matthew Rempe delivered a massive hit to Devils
forward Nathan Bastian.


The 6'7, 240 pound Rempe came flying in from the blueline and caught Bastian as he was reaching for the puck along the boards. Rempe made direct contact with the head of Bastian, who stayed down momentarily. Rempe was assessed a match penalty for his hit and is likely going to serve the automatic one game suspension that accompanies it and he could be facing a lengthier suspension.

A lengthier suspension is unlikely though given the circumstances and on previous rulings from the Department of Player Safety. Bastian was bent over and reaching for the puck, putting himself in a vulnerable position. Rempe's arm was tucked and normally, this type of hit would have resulted in contact in the chest or shoulder area and not the head.


Luckily for Rempe, Bastian returned to the game only to be on the receiving end of a second huge hit, this time from Jacob Trouba early in the second before dropping the gloves with him. There is no word yet on any supplemental discipline for Rempe, but it would not be surprising if the league revoked the automatic suspension that is received with match penalties. It has been quite the start to Rempe's career as he got into his first NHL fight just one second into his first shift, had eight hits through two games and had just 13 seconds of ice time before being ejected last night.

In comparison to the suspension that Morgan Rielly just served, with no prior suspensions to his credit, there's no question that this hit was far more dangerous and deserves a much more stiff suspension. This just highlights the wild inconsistencies that exist within the NHL's Department of Player Safety. Quite frankly, it's embarrassing.

POLL
February 23   |   310 answers
Rangers rookie lands illegal check to the head, should result in suspension longer than Rielly's

How many games will Rempe be suspended for?

07724.8 %
1-39530.6 %
3-513844.5 %
5+00 %
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