Aaron Dell suspended 3 games for injuring Drake Batherson

AARON DELL SUSPENSION
Jan 25, 2022; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres goalie Aaron Dell (80) looks on during a pause in play in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell was suspended 3 games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday following interference on Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson on Tuesday night.

Batherson injured his left ankle on the play, which occurred late in the first period of the Senators’ 5-0 win. He will now miss next week’s NHL All-Star Game, being replaced by Brady Tkachuk.

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement Dell will forfeit $11,250 based on his average salary. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Senators upset with play

Batherson, who scored his 13th goal of the season earlier in the game, was chasing a puck behind the Buffalo net when Dell appeared to shove him feet-first into the boards. He was helped off the ice and did not return.

“Drake looks like he’s gonna be (out) a lot longer,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said after the game. “Kid has a chance to go to his first All-Star game, it’s a bad play by the goalie. He’s done it before. We’ve seen all the replays. Any other player in the game that does that, you know, you have to go out and face the music. Certainly the league will look at whatever. But it’s a bad play.”

Dell, who was not penalized on the play, said he wasn’t trying to injure Batherson.

“I was just trying to buy some time for my defenseman and step into his lane,” Dell said. “I hope he’s all right. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. That sucks. I really didn’t want to hurt anybody. I hope he’s all right.”

Batherson, 23, leads the Senators with 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) through 31 games.

Dell, 32, is 1-8-1 this season with a 4.03 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 12 appearances.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report