Reports on Thursday afternoon are that the NHL has suspended Blackhawks defenseman Nick Boynton for one regular season game because of a throat-slashing motion Boynton made on his way to the penalty box in the Hawks preseason opener.
After losing a fight with Blair Jones of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boynton was escorted to the box. As he got closer, he cursed at Jones and made the gesture, which was caught by cameras.
Boynton is expected to contribute to the Blackhawks third defensive pair this season, and this is little more than a stupid mistake that will cost him a paycheck. Odds are that neither Boynton nor Jordan Hendry will skate all 82 games this year, so missing one game (on the road, in Denver) isn’t a deal breaker for the Hawks.
However, the identity of the seventh defenseman is still up in the air. John Scott could fill Boynton’s role on Opening Night, or the Hawks could bring one of their top prospects to the NHL level. That decision will be made in the next week.