Blues’ Jordan Binnington to miss 2 games because of Wild Scuffle

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington was suspended for two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday for rude and unsportsmanlike conduct against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and based on his average annual salary, Binnington will lose $64,864.86. The money goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.

At 12:25 into the second half in the Blues’ 8–5 loss, Minnesota forward Ryan Hartman scored the go-ahead goal to break a 4–4 tie. Skating to celebrate with his teammates, Hartman made contact with Binnington’s leg pad outside the St. Louis crease. Binnington turned and skated towards the wild players, throwing a punch with his blocking glove as he held his goalie stick.

Moments after that incident, NHL linesmen had to prevent Binnington and Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from having a fight.

Binnington received a light penalty for leaving his crease and a match penalty.

The NHL said the retaliatory nature of the play was a catalyst for the suspension.

“What brings this play up to the level of a suspension is the act of a goaltender using his blocker in this way, the retaliatory nature of the hit, the location and force with which it lands, and the circumstances of the game in Reckless entry into an opponent’s goal celebration long after play has ended in order to seek retaliation will not be tolerated, the Department of Player Safety said in its explanation.

This marks the first time that Binnington has been suspended or fined by the NHL in his 214-game NHL career.

The Blues goaltender, who led them to the 2019 Stanley Cup championship as a rookie, has earned a reputation as an emotional player who frequently takes on opponents. He’s known for talking to opposing benches during games, like he did with the Wild on Tuesday night, and gets physical with opposing players. Last December, when Binnington had an incident against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Blues coach Craig Berube said: “It’s got to stop. It doesn’t help anything… Just play on goal, stop the puck.”

On Tuesday night, Berube was more supportive of Binnington within the context of the play.

“He went right into the crease and hit Binner and Binner reacted, which I don’t have a problem with. The guy went in there,” Berube said. “I’m not going to have him hit like he did. That’s going to be a game [penalty] every time. But he’s reacting to what Hartman did.”

Binnington will miss games at the Washington Capitals on Friday and at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.