Update: The NHL has informed the San Jose Sharks that Brad Stuart will be suspended for the next three games of the regular season. As per NHL.com:
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart has been suspended for three games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash during NHL Game No. 44 in San Jose on Tuesday, October 8, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
Brad Stuart finally made his way into a contest for the San Jose Sharks after missing six games of the preseason, but he may end up back in the press box if the NHL decides to suspend him for his hit on Rick Nash of the New York Rangers.
The play in question occurred during the first period of the October 8 game between the Sharks and Rangers. Nash had just cleared the puck out of his defensive zone as Stuart cut across his front, making contact with his head and clearly dazing New York’s top forward.
Stuart talked to the San Jose Mercury News earlier this morning and had this to say on the hit:
I just stepped up and hit the guy. I’ve seen the replay. I didn’t leave my feet, I didn’t target the head. So it depends on how they want to look at it, I guess. Apparently he has a concussion, so, we’ll see.
While Stuart does not have a suspension history with the NHL, he has had several of his hits called into question by the league. Nash spoke to reporters after the game and said ”I have a headache. It got worse. It was a head shot. I’m concerned the way it feels.” The Rangers are struggling to find their collective footing so far this season, and losing Nash would be a major blow.