The Habs will be without Brendan Gallagher for a little while as the Department of Player Safety announced that the winger received a five-game suspension for his hit on Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech on Thursday night. With the league opting for a phone hearing earlier in the day, this is the maximum suspension that Gallagher could have received. The video breakdown of the ruling can be found here.
The incident occurred in the back half of the third period with Gallagher receiving a match penalty on the play. New York received a five-minute power play as a result and scored twice to tie the game up before Sean Monahan potted the winner with a little over two minutes to go.
This is the first suspension of Gallagher’s career and it will carry a hefty financial penalty as well as he’ll forfeit nearly $170,000 in salary; that money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Meanwhile, with the bye week and All-Star break approaching, Gallagher won’t be eligible to return to the lineup until February 15th against the Rangers.
Montreal will not get an extra spot to call someone up to take Gallagher’s spot so they’ll go with just 12 forwards for the next few weeks. Unless the plan is to go with seven defencemen tomorrow versus Pittsburgh, Jesse Ylonen should make his return to the lineup for that game.