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Deryk Engelland to be suspended for hit on Justin Abdelkader

The Penguins Deryk Engelland is staring down the barrel of a lengthy suspension, as he'll have an in-person discipline hearing in New York on Wednesday to determine his punishment for his head-shot hit on Detroit's Justin Abdelkader.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Deryk Engelland has been summoned to New York for an in person discipline hearing on Wednesday for his hit on Detroit's Justin Abdelkader. Engelland was given a 5 minute major and a match penalty for the hit below, from Pensblog:



It's a pretty vicious hit that looks really bad in slow motion, especially considering the one thing you don't see in the GIF is the puck, which had already passed. It's a hit that Engelland could have and needed to let up on, but he didn't and as a result he injured a player.

But as commenter extraordinaire Stros Bros pointed out:

There have been 7 illegal check to the head suspensions this season, 2 of the 7 went for more than 6 games. John Scott, where he lines up and targets the head on Loui Eriksson, and Patrick Kaleta on Jack Johnson for 10 games who has been suspended 6 times in 4 seasons and is considered a repeat offender.

The other 5 are
* Brad Stuart – 3 games pretty hard to hit Nash in the head without targeting it specifically
* Alexander Edler – 3 games
* Michael Grabner – 2 games
* Jared Cowen – 2 games
* David Clarkson – 2 games

Deryk Engelland has only one suspension (for three games) in his 214 game NHL career, back in December 2011, when he launched into a head hit on Chicago's Marcus Kruger. That hit showed more targeting of the head by launching himself off his skates than this one on Abdelkader.

We'll see what the NHL decides on this current hit, based on the chart above, you'd think this hit falls more into the 2-3 game range than the 6+ games that an in-person hearing usually dictates, but doesn't require.

Either way, the Penguins are already down their top four defensemen and won't have Engelland available for their game on Monday night, and likely a few more in the future. If Kris Letang (upper body injury) can't go, the team will have to make yet another call-up from Wilkes-Barre and play yet another AHL player on the blueline that is already young and inexperienced at this point.