Leafs' Auston Matthews picks up first career suspension for cross-check on Dahlin

Mar 14 2022, 5:43 pm

It turns out the answer to stopping Auston Matthews’ scoring pace is a suspension.

Following a hearing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that the Toronto Leafs forward Matthews has been suspended for a pair of games for his cross-check on Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic outdoor game.

In the third period of the game, with the Leafs down 4-2, Dahlin and Matthews engaged in a shoving war outside of the Buffalo crease. Both players received cross-checking minors, but a high cross-check from Matthews appeared to catch Dahlin in the neck and head area.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety released the following video explaining the suspension.

“While we acknowledge Matthews argument that this is not a cross-check meant to harm or injure his opponent, it is also not a routine motion,” the NHL’s explanation offered. “This is a high, forceful cross-check.”

Matthews will forfeit $116,402.50 USD in salary for the play, which goes to the NHL Players’ Emergency Fund.

It is the first supplemental discipline in his NHL career for Matthews, who had never been fined or picked up a suspension in his six-year NHL career.

Matthews currently has a league-leading 45 goals with 32 assists in 56 games this season.

Matthews will miss Toronto’s game Tuesday night against Dallas and Thursday’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, both at Scotiabank Arena.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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