NHL suspends Brett Connolly four games for dangerous hit on Tanner Kero

brett connolly suspended
Dec 18, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; A Dallas Stars trainer checks on center Tanner Kero (64) who was hit by Chicago Blackhawks right wing Brett Connolly (not pictured) during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks forward Brett Connolly had a hearing with the NHL on Sunday for interference on Dallas Stars forward Tanner Kero. The Department of Player Safety has suspended him for four games

Connolly will forfeit $70,000 under the terms of the CBA based on his average annual salary.

Connolly suspended 4 games

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 Stars reported after the game that Kero was alert and responsive.

“It is important to note that Kero was never in possession of the puck on this play and therefore is not eligible to be checked in any manner,” the official explained in the suspension video.

Connolly defended his actions by saying it was more of a collision than a body check.

“While we do agree that Connolly does not initiate this contact with the full force of a hard body check,” the video continues, “This is not a mere collision between two players who are unaware of the impending contact.”

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.