Report: NHL "Surprised" At Charlie McAvoy's Appeal of Suspension

While we won't necessarily suggest that Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy's appeal of his four-game suspension is falling on deaf ears, it's certainly falling on "surprised" ears at the NHL head office.

According to ESPN NHL Insider Greg Wyshynski, a hearing hasn't been scheduled yet, and the NHL seems to feel that McAvoy's suspension for an illegal check to the head was a "cut and dry (sic)" decision. In fact, the report says, there was "much surprise on the NHL side" that there was even an appeal in the first place. 

The hit took place midway through the 3rd period of Monday's game against the Florida Panthers, when McAvoy delivered an illegal check to the head of Florida Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

In its ruling, the NHL Department of Player Safety ruled "McAvoy chooses an angle of approach that cuts across Ekman-Larsson's body, missing his core and picking his head," in explaining that it felt the head contact was avoidable. 

Wyshynski suggests that McAvoy is trying to get the ban reduced to three games or less, but his history of a previous suspension for a hit to the head likely landed him the robust discipline. 

Whatever commissioner Gary Bettman rules, McAvoy is ineligible to appeal it because it's for less than six games. He already served the first game Thursday night in the Bruins' 3-2 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their next game is Saturday night.