A discipline hearing has been set for Brandon Manning.
The Flyers defenseman is scheduled to meet with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday morning, following his crushing hit on Penguins rookie forward Jake Guentzel during Saturday’s NHL Stadium Series game at Heinz Field.
Manning rocked Guentzel with what appeared to be a high head check during the second period of Philadelphia’s loss to Pittsburgh in the outdoor showdown.
No penalty was assessed on the questionable play.
Guentzel, who finished with two assists and has 14 points in his first 23 games with the Penguins, stayed in the game and didn’t appear to be injured. Nonetheless, Manning likely won’t be able to avoid suspension, especially after delivering controversial hits in the past.
Laine has shown a goal-scoring ability not often displayed by rookies. This season he became the first rookie with three hat tricks in a season since Teemu Selanne and Eric Lindros in 1992-93.
Matthews, meanwhile, is leading the Maple Leafs on a tremendous turnaround. Toronto finished last in the NHL a year ago; now it’s in the playoffs.
It’s a close call, but I’m leaning toward Matthews because he has his team in the playoffs. Laine and Jets missed the playoffs by a lot.
Martin Hanzal, C ( Signed with Stars ) The big, 6-6 centerman is hardly a sexy addition, but he was traded for a first-round pick at last season’s deadline. Hanzal, 30, is affordable at $4.75 million over the next three years and provides additional depth down the middle for the Stars. Can never have too much of that.