Canadiens' Brendan Gallagher banned 5 games for check to head

League: NHL

Posted on: 26 Jan, 2024 at 11:04 PM

Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Department of Safety suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher five games Friday for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.

Gallagher was afforded a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety earlier in the day, meaning a five-game suspension was the maximum length that could be assessed.

Gallagher was assessed a match penalty at 11:52 of the third period of the Canadiens' 4-3 victory over the visiting Islanders on Thursday after he delivered an elbow to Pelech's head well after Pelech distributed the puck in the neutral zone. Pelech remained on the ice for several moments and did not return to the game.

The Islanders scored two goals on the subsequent five-minute power play to forge a tie at 3-3 with 3:32 remaining in the third period.

"... Gallagher loads up, raises his arm and elevates into a forceful check that cuts across the front of Pelech's core and picks his head, making the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable," a Department of Player Safety official said in an explanation video.

Gallagher will forfeit $169,270.85 in pay.

Gallagher, 31, had not been suspended previously during his 12-season career in the NHL. He will miss one game before the NHL All-Star break -- Saturday at Pittsburgh -- and four more after the break, at Washington and home against Dallas, St. Louis and Anaheim. He is eligible to return Feb. 15 at the New York Rangers.

He has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 48 games this season and 411 points (210 goals, 201 assists) in 723 career games with the Canadiens.

--Field Level Media