The NHL department of player safety announced the punishment Thursday after a telephone hearing with Scheifele. In a video explaining the punishment, the league noted Scheifele did not try to play the puck, saying, “It is apparent to our department that his intention on this play is to deliver a hard, violent check to an opponent, with the outcome of both the play and the game already having been decided.”
Scheifele will miss Game 2 on Friday in Winnipeg, Games 3 and 4 in Montreal on Sunday and Monday, and Game 5 (if necessary) June 9 back in Winnipeg.
“When a player approaches a player like yesterday and doesn’t try to get his stick on the puck, that’s an indication of the intent, to me,” Montreal head coach Dominique Ducharme said earlier Thursday.
Evans, 25, was stretchered off the ice in the final minute of Montreal’s 5-3 win Wednesday, after he was hit high by Scheifele while Evans was scoring a wrap-around goal into an empty net. The Jets center was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.
Ducharme said Thursday morning that Evans had a concussion and was out indefinitely, but that he was improving and avoided a trip to the hospital. Ducharme and Canadiens teammates criticized Scheifele’s hit.
“It’s brutal. It didn’t need to happen. It’s the wrong play. He knows better,” Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher said after Wednesday’s game. Defenseman Joel Edmundson agreed, calling it a dirty hit.
“If he (Scheifele) gets back in the series, we’re going to make his life miserable,” Edmundson said Wednesday.
Game 2 between the Jets and Canadiens will be on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
This is a developing story. More to come.