Carolina Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth will have a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday morning over telephone. The announcement was released via the NHL Player Safety Twitter account.
At 7:55 of the first period of Sunday night’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators, Kevin Westgarth received a two-minute boarding penalty for hitting Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki.
Borowiecki was on his knees with his head down. He was then hit by Westgarth into the boards. His head was forced into the boards on the hit. Mark Borowiecki strained his neck on the play, and did not return to the game. Since Kevin Westgarth only received a minor penalty, he was not ejected.
Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean called the hit “a disrespectful play… Player 8 (Kevin Westgarth) should feel shame.” This coming just one day after Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen hit Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk with a pretty vicious elbow.
Kevin Westgarth has no history of supplementary discipline from the NHL over his five-season, 129 game career. That will make an impact on whether Westgarth receives a suspension, fine, or just gets off with no discipline. Borowiecki was injured on the play, so that will also make an impact on the decision that the NHL will make.
I would not be surprised if Kevin Westgarth gets a fine or suspension. That was not a clean hit. Westgarth had time to re-adjust himself and not hit Borowiecki, but he still drove him into the board at an awkward angle. Kevin Westgarth has never been a dirty player, but that was a dirty hit, in my opinion.