Maple Leafs winger Pierre Engvall was suspended for one game by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Friday for hitting Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi in the head with his stick during the 5- 0 from Toronto on Thursday.
Engvall will lose $12,162.16 in salary under the collective agreement between the NHL and the NHLPA.
Engvall received a five-minute major penalty for the infraction and was thrown out for the remainder of the contest. The incident happened in the third period after the two players clashed at center ice after Durzi opposed a crosscheck by the Leafs forward.
After the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe came to his player’s defense.
“You all looked at Peter [Engvall] playing long enough now to know he’s not playing with the intention of hurting.”
Durzi appeared unscathed and stayed in the match. He was, however, booed by the home crowd each time he touched the puck after the altercation with Engvall, which made his parents laugh, who were among the 200 friends and family members Durzi had in attendance at the Scotiabank Arena on Thursday. It wasn’t just fans who hinted at it, as he also had to deal with tweets coming from Maple Leafs agitator Michael Bunting.
The Maple Leafs actually selected Durzi with the 52nd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 24-year-old spent the following season in the OHL with the Guelph Storm and the Owen Sound Attack.
In January 2019, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas acquired veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles. Durzi, Carl Grundstrom and a first-round pick (who became forward Tobias Björnfot) were sent to the Kings in return.
Since joining the Kings, Durzi has carved out a solid role as an NHL regular, scoring 45 points in 89 games over two seasons in Southern California. He signed a two-year, $3.4 million contract with the Kings in September.
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