Toronto Maple Leafs centre Jason Spezza has been suspended six games by the National Hockey League Department of Player Safety for kneeing Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk.
Shortly preceding the incident, Pionk had delivered a knee-on-knee hit to Maple Leafs defenceman Ramsus Sandin that went unpenalized by the officials on the ice. That play incensed the players on the Maple Leafs bench, including Jason Spezza.
Pionk received a two-game suspension Monday for his knee-to-knee hit on Sandin. The Jets said Pionk was in concussion protocol and would be out a few days.
Spezza had been playing well recently, with five points (4 G, 1 A) in the past six games. He played a season-high 19:50 against Winnipeg. That was nearly four minutes more than his second-highest time on ice this season. He has 11 points (7 G, 4 A) in 26 games this season.
With Jason Spezza out, the Maple Leafs have recalled Alex Steeves from the Toronto Marlies and shifted Pierre Engvall to play centre on the fourth line.
Toronto’s Jason Spezza has been suspended for six games for Kneeing Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk. https://t.co/DDlM0Tdzw3
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 8, 2021