Avs’ Makar suspended 1 game for hit that injured Kraken’s McCann

Apr 25, 2023, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:50 am

Seattle Kraken Cale Makar Jared McCann...

Colorado's Cale Makar hits Seattle's Jared McCann in Game 4 of their first round series. (Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Kraken lost top winger Jared McCann for the foreseeable future due to a late hit by top Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, and Makar will miss time due to the hit as well.

Avs’ Cale Makar becomes Kraken playoff villain with nasty hit on McCann

The NHL announced that Makar has been suspended for one game due to interference for the big hit on McCann.

The hit happened on a Kraken penalty kill when McCann had a breakaway opportunity. His shot sailed high and out of play, and he skated to the left corner. Makar followed him and hit McCann high, resulting in McCann’s head and neck area hitting the boards.

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Initially, nothing happened. Then, Makar was issued a five-minute major before officials reviewed the play and lowered it to a two-minute minor. Ultimately, Daniel Sprong scored on the ensuing four-on-four opportunity with Makar in the penalty box. Additionally, Jordan Eberle’s overtime winner was shot right over Makar.

In a video explaining the decision to suspend Makar, a league spokesperson says McCann “was in no way eligible to be checked on this play” and that Makar “finishes this hit well outside the allowable window for finishing a check.”

After the game, Makar told reporters that there was no ill intent on the play.

“It was a hockey play. I’m assuming he was going to the corner because it was coming down. I didn’t really look. Just unfortunate how that happened,” Makar said.

The NHL wasn’t buying that explanation from Makar, though, saying though Makar said he went after McCann because he thought the puck was in the corner, the “onus” was on the defenseman to make sure he knows the puck is over there before delivering a hit.

“In addition, it is clear Makar knows McCann is not in possession of the puck when he decides to deliver this hit,” the spokesperson said in the video.

Makar was the Norris Trophy winner last season as the league’s top defenseman and was a key part in the Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup last year. McCann has been Seattle’s top scorer the last two years, and led the team with 40 goals this season.

As you can imagine, Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol wasn’t thrilled with what transpired on Monday.

“Late hit, really late, no puck in play. Our 40-goal scorer not available for the rest of the game and is not going to be available going forward here,” Hakstol said.

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