The Habs will be without Max Domi for the rest of the preseason after he was suspended by the Department of Player Safety for the punching incident against Aaron Ekblad of the Panthers on Wednesday night. He received a minor and major penalty on the play as well as a match penalty which carried an automatic hearing with the league.
However, Domi will not be suspended for any regular season games which means he will be available for the season opener against Toronto on October 3rd. Regular season games were never on the table once the league offered only a telephone hearing which constitutes a suspension of five games or less.
The suspension will limit how much Montreal’s new-look top line will get to spend together, one that features Domi flanked by Jonathan Drouin and offseason acquisition Joel Armia. It will be interesting to see if Drouin gets shifted back to the middle or if another newcomer (likely one of Matthew Peca, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, or Nick Suzuki) will centre that line in the remaining preseason contests.
In the meantime, the Habs will be back in action on Thursday night in Quebec City against the Capitals. Peca and Xavier Ouellet are the only players suiting up in back-to-back games while Alexandre Alain, Michal Moravcik, David Sklenicka, and Lukas Vejdemo will all play their first ever NHL preseason game.