The first major suspension of the year has been handed out. This statement is pretty incredible considering the NHL's regular season hasn't even started yet. The league has suspended Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular season games after he left the bench to join in on an altercation during a preseason game between Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Paul Bissonnette has been automatically suspended for 10 regular-season games, without pay for leaving the bench to join an altercation #TSN
— NHL on TSN (@NHLonTSN) September 16, 2013
Bissonnette, or BizNasty, left the bench to join a dispute between teammate Martin Hanzal and LA's Jordan Nolan. Tempers were running high after Nolan delivered a vicious hit on Rostislav Klesla which left the defenseman motionless on the ice. Klesla needed to be carted off the ice and was later examined at a hospital.
Per NHL rules, a player who makes an illegal line change to join in on a fight will receive a 10-game suspension. His punishment will force him to give up a little over $37,800 in salary.
No additional discipline was given to Nolan for his hit on Klesla.