Tanner Pearson suspended two games for hitting Brandon Davidson

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The NHL Department of Player Safety has spoken: Los Angeles Kings winger Tanner Pearson will sit out the rest of the preseason, as well as L.A.’s first two regular season games, for a check to the head of Edmonton Oilers’ defenceman Brandon Davidson.

The NHL’s explanation of this suspension seems pretty straight-forward to me, with the bullet points at the end of the explanatory video summing it up nicely. This was clearly an illegal check to the head; whatever Pearson’s intention he didn’t make contact with the body. Pearson doesn’t have a track record of dirty play, which works in his favour. Davidson hasn’t played since, which works against him. 

Two regular season games doesn’t seem like a very long time, but the league typically doesn’t throw the book at first-time offenders. 

The bigger question is how much this hit is going to impact Davidson. From what the coach has said in his availabilities, it doesn’t sound like the second-year NHL’er will be out of the lineup for very long, which will be great news if it plays out that way. 

Davidson had a wonderful rookie campaign and was a major bright spot in another difficult Edmonton season last year. Any time he misses is going to be noticed. On a more personal level, this is a player who has already experienced adversity on his road to the NHL, and one hopes that he can have a long and healthy career.   

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  • BorjeSalming-IanTurnbull

    The real punishment will be Pearson picking his teeth off the ice. Been a long time since an Oiler fan could say that…feels good

    Also I’d like to give props to The Drake, Pitlick and Slepy for showing the organisation has some depth

  • Hemi

    Am I too much of a ‘homer’ for thinking he deserved more than what was handed him? I agree totally that Pearson may in fact be looking over his shoulder in future games against the Oil.

    Justice comes in various forms.

    Go OIL!

  • 1983 and This Year

    The offender should have to miss at least the same number of games as the victim, plus a suspension. You ended someone’s career with a flying elbow? Oops, looks like you just retired too.

  • Chet.

    I feel like Pearson should make some sort of apology for the hit. It was on kraft hockeyville ffs. We are trying to promote safety in the game and especially in the lower levels (removing of checking from Bantam, are the stop sign patches still on jerseys?) and he does that hit.

    Just a clueless play in my opinion. Contact will always exist, mis-hits will occur and injuries will happen, but seriously, this hit plus the one in the Ottawa on MacArthur were just stupid plays. Having them make a statement about safety and judging when to hit should happen, helps bring home the message to the younger players that they shouldn’t be focused on those kind of hits.

    /end rant.

  • Oilerz4life

    He should be suspended for at least the time that Davidson is out. If Davidson comes back sooner, you still serve the suspension. That is the type of diciplinary action they should implement across the board, not just because it’s Davidson or an Oiler injury, try to actually get that type of play OUT of the game.