Brett Connolly to have hearing with NHL for hit on Tanner Kero

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brett Connolly will have a hearing with the NHL on Sunday for interference on Dallas Stars forward Tanner Kero.

Connolly was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his hit on Kero, who left the ice on a stretcher during Saturday’s game. Kero was attempting to play the puck along the boards during the first period of the Stars’ 4-3 overtime win in Dallas.

The Star reported after the game that Kero was alert and responsive.

Connolly hit on Kero was a scary incident

tanner kero brett connolly
Dec 18, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Tanner Kero (64) is carted off the ice during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 29 year-old forward, has yet to record a point in two games this season. He has 194 points (101 goals, 93 assists) in 529 career games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Blackhawks.

Connolly waited until Kero was being transported off to check on him before going to the locker room after his ejection.

“I know Brett Connolly, and I know he’s not a dirty player,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “I coached him in Tampa, and he’s a great kid. It’s just hockey, and Brett Connolly would never intentionally hurt anyone.”

An emotional Pavelski was visibly shaken after the game saying, “It’s terrible. I’ve been there before,” as he fought back tears. “This win is definitely for him.”

Pavelski was referring to his own incident during the 2019 playoffs when he was with the San Jose Sharks. A cross check from Golden Knights’ Cody Eakins caused a head first collision resulting in a serious injury.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report