On Wednesday, the NHL announced that Los Angeles Kings’ left winger Tanner Pearson has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason and the first two games of the regular season for an illegal check. Pearson was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers after checking defenseman Brandon Davidson in the head.
Pearson will miss preseason tilts with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche before sitting out the Kings’ season-opener on the road against the San Jose Sharks and their home-opener versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
This was Pearson’s first ever infraction that warranted a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on a possible suspension, which likely helped to keep the ban relatively low at just four total games. He will lose about $15,000 as a result of being forced to the sideline.
Davidson is officially labeled as day-to-day after taking the blow to the head, which suggests he was able to avoid a serious injury. He did not return to the game after the infraction occurred in the second period.
Pearson is set to enter his fourth professional season after the Kings selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. The Ontario native enjoyed his finest season to date in 2015-2016, scoring 15 goals to coincide with 21 assists, good for fifth and seventh on the team, respectively. He averaged over 14 minutes of ice time per game as well, which was also a career-high.
The Kings finished 48-28-6 last season, good for second-place behind the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles was then ousted in five games by the Sharks in the first-round of the playoffs.