GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 10: Paul Bissonnette #12 of the Phoenix Coyotes watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Jobing.com Arena on October 10, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blue Jackets defeated the Coyotes 2-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Coyotes will be without their enforcer for the beginning of the regular season.
The NHL suspended Paul Bissonnette for 10 regular-season games after the Coyotes left winger left the bench during an altercation during Sunday night’s preseason tilt against the Los Angeles Kings. Bissonnette was given a game misconduct during the first period when he came off the bench on an illegal line change looking to fight Jordan Nolan after Nolan laid a massive open-ice hit on Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla.
Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher following the hit, and taken to the hospital. He has since been diagnosed with a concussion. The league deemed Nolan’s hit legal, however, and he did not receive any supplemental punishment.
Bissonnette will be eligible to return to the Coyotes on Oct. 24 when Phoenix takes on the Kings in L.A.
Check out a video of Nolan’s hit below, with director of player safety Brendan Shanahan explaining why it was a legal hit.
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