NHL announces Kyle Clifford's suspension

Published May 3, 2022 at 4:45 PM

Last night during the Maple Leafs versus Lightning game, Kyle Clifford delivered an illegal check to Ross Colton. Clifford was awarded a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit. Today the NHL Department of Player Safety announced he'd been suspended for one game for his actions.

The NHL provided the following reasoning behind the suspension:

Monday night in Toronto, Maple Leafs' forward, Kyle Clifford was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding, Lightning Forward, Ross Colton. As the video shows, Colton, collects the puck on the boards and plays it off the wall, down the ice.

After Colton releases the puck Clifford approaches from behind and having seen nothing, but Colton's numbers for some time, delivers a forceful, check to the defenseless Colton, driving him dangerously into the boards.

This is boarding.

It is important to note, that this is not a case where a sudden or unexpected movement by Colton prior to contact changes, a legal check into an illegal one. From the moment Colton approaches the puck battle until the hit is delivered Clifford sees nothing but his numbers.

While we have heard an argument that Clifford does make some attempt to deliver this contact legally. This remains a forceful hit to a defenseless player, who is no longer in possession of the puck. What causes this play to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the angle from which Clifford approaches this hit, which makes Colton particularly defenseless combined with his force.

If Clifford wants to avoid supplemental discipline on this play, he must further adjust his course to deliver legal body, contact, avoid the check entirely, or at the very least, minimize the force of the hit. Instead he finishes with force driving the defenseless Colton into the glass dangerously.

To summarize, this is boarding, Clifford has been fined 3 times during his 751 game NHL career, The department of player. Safety has suspended. Kyle Clifford For one playoff game

While similar plays in the past have gone without supplemental discipline, George Parros has deemed this worthy of additional punishment. The Maple Leafs host Tampa Bay Wednesday night for Game 2.
May 3   |   1 answers
NHL announces Kyle Clifford's suspension

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