Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has been suspended for three games following a hearing with NHL Player Safety. The suspension comes after Johnson’s illegal check to the head on forward Jiri Tlusty on Tuesday, November 4, when the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Carolina Hurricanes. His suspension will be without pay.
Johnson currently leads the Blue Jackets in ice time, with almost 24 minutes per game. His suspension comes on the heels of an already battered roster that includes the loss of defenseman Ryan Murray (day-to-day), Cody Goloubef (6 weeks), and James Wisniewski (1-2 weeks); forwards Mark Letestu (2-4 weeks), Brandon Dubinsky (4-6 weeks), and Artem Anisimov (timetable TBD); and starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (1-2 weeks).
“Obviously I’m not skating through the neutral zone thinking about targeting his head. I’m just trying to finish a check,” Johnson said after the game yesterday, according to the Blue Jackets’ official Twitter. Though he did not return to play, Tlusty reported “feeling fine” after the game.