Carcillo was involved in a scuffle in Thursday night’s game when he elbowed linesman Steve Driscoll. The official was trying to keep Carcillo from going after Brandon Prust after the whistle had been blown. Earlier Prust had injured Rangers’ forward Derek Stepan with an open-ice check, for which he was suspended two games.
League officials had little choice in suspending Dan Carcillo. His ban was automatic underRule 40.3 pertaining to Physical Abuse of Officials. The rule states: “Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.”
Even the New York Rangers coach did not defend his player’s actions.
“What Dan did is inexcusable,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, a few hours before the release.
The series between the teams has gotten quite chippy. In Game 1, Rangers forward Chris Krieder plowed into Canadiens goalie Carey Price, knocking him out of the series. After the hit Prust had been critical of the Rangers.
Vigneault said Prust’s protests earlier in the series seem ironic now.
“The same player that called the hit on Price ‘accidental but on purpose,’ ” Vigneault said. “Late hit, everything that you want to get out of the game, that was his hit on Stepan. And what saddens me about that hit is, if the call is made on the ice, we’re on a 5-minute power play, and what happened to Dan Carcillo … he’s not put in that position.”
Carcillo is not the first NHL player suspended for coming into contact with an officials. In 1983, Chicago Blackhawks player Tom Lysiak was given a 20 game suspension for abusing a linesman, and the previous season Terry O’Reilly of Boston Bruins was banned 10 games for assaulting a referee.
The Dan Carcillo suspension may not be a huge blow to the New York Rangers. He averaged only nine minutes of ice time per game, least among forwards.