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Blues’ Jordan Binnington to sit out 2 games for Wild scuffle

Blues' Jordan Binnington to sit out 2 games for Wild scuffle

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was suspended for two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Binnington will forfeit $64,864.86. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

At 12:25 of the second period in the Blues’ 8-5 loss, Minnesota forward Ryan Hartman scored the go-ahead goal to break a 4-4 tie. While skating over to celebrate with teammates, Hartman made contact with Binnington’s leg pad outside of the St. Louis crease. Binnington spun around and skated to the Wild players, throwing a punch with his blocker glove while holding his goalie stick.

Moments after that incident, NHL linesmen had to keep Binnington and Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from having a fight.

Binnington received a minor penalty for leaving his crease and a match penalty.

The NHL said the retaliatory nature of the play was a catalyst for the suspension.

“What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is the act of a goaltender using his blocker in this manner, the retaliatory nature of the blow, the location and force with which it lands and the game circumstances under which it occurred,” said the Department of Player Safety in its explanation. “Recklessly entering an opponent’s goal celebration long after the play has ended for the purposes of seeking retribution will not be tolerated.”

This is the first time Binnington has either been suspended or fined by the NHL in his 214-game NHL career.

The Blues goalie, who led them to the 2019 Stanley Cup championship as a rookie, has earned a reputation for being an emotional player who frequently engages with opponents. He’s known to jaw with opposing benches during games, as he did with the Wild on Tuesday night, and get physical with opposing players. Last December, when Binnington had an incident against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Blues coach Craig Berube said, “It’s got to stop. It doesn’t help anything. … Just play goal, stop the puck.”

On Tuesday night, Berube was more supportive of Binnington within the context of the play.

“He went right in the crease and hit Binner and Binner reacted, which I don’t have a problem with. The guy went right in there,” Berube said. “I’m not going to condone hitting like he did. That’s going to be a match [penalty] every time. But he’s reacting…

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