By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is not a lawyer, nor could he successfully play one well enough to escape without a suspension in his hearing with the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday.
“I said my peace in accordance of the rules, and I think we put forth a pretty good defense,” McAvoy, who earned the ban for an illegal check to the head of Columbus winger Josh Anderson in Monday’s Game 6 victory, said after Wednesday’s practice. “Really slowing it down and watching it, seeing how his body changed at the last second, opening up. It was tough.
“I was just trying to make a hockey play and it was unfortunate, really. I have to serve it. I respect the process and was glad I was able to say my peace and be able to defend myself. But all things together, I’m not a very good lawyer I guess.”
McAvoy only gets two minutes for this. Wow. pic.twitter.com/5c1XtSetR4— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 7, 2019
In their explanation video, the league really seemed to stress the fact that they didn’t like McAvoy’s followthrough on the hit, or the way he went under and up in their estimation, which led to the undeniable head contact with Anderson.
But McAvoy insists that he’s not a dirty player.
“I don’t think I’m a dirty player by any means; this was just a tough circumstance,” McAvoy, who had not been fined or suspended in his NHL career prior to this offense, offered. “I was trying to deliver a legal check and I felt I got a healthy amount of body. This is just something, I have to serve it. I respect their decision.
“[I’m] disappointed I won’t be able to help my team in Game 1, but I’m already looking forward to using this extra time to put myself in the best position to be ready to go for Game 2. It’s an opportunity for me to rest some bumps and bruises and mentally reset. When Game 2 rolls around, I’m going to do everything I can to help the team.”
The Bruins are expected to dress Steven Kampfer in McAvoy’s place in the lineup, while first-year NHLer Connor Clifton got the look to Zdeno Chara’s right in McAvoy’s place atop the Black and Gold’s right-side defensemen depth chart.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.