The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has announced that New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith has been suspended two games for slashing forward Travis Konecny in a game on Thursday.
Konecny was also fined $5,000 for cross-checking Smith. The fine is the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Smith was previously suspended eight games – three preseason and five regular season – back in 2011 while with the Detroit Red Wings.
This is the ninth suspension of the 2023-24 NHL regular season, but the first involving a New Jersey Devil.
Smith, 34, has bounced between left wing and defense this year. A natural blueliner, the native of Mimico, Ontario has two assists in 21 games this year. He isn’t afraid to play with an edge, having racked up 60 or more penalty minutes nine times in his career.
Drafted 27th overall in 2007, Smith spent the first six years of his NHL career with Detroit before getting moved to the New York Rangers in 2016-17. He spent five years there before joining Carolina for a one-off in 2021-22. Smith signed with the Devils in 2022-23 and has seven points in 81 games, all assists.
Smith is eligible to return on Dec. 7 against the Seattle Kraken. The news comes as Simon Nemec was called up to help replace Dougie Hamilton, who has been out of action since Tuesday with an upper-body injury. He was placed on injured reserve today.
Konecny, 26, has had a solid season all things considered, scoring 12 goals and 18 points in 23 games. He’s on pace for his first 40-goal season and a career-best 64 points, which would edge out the 61 he had in 2019-20 and again last year. Konecny has spent his entire pro career with the Flyers since getting drafted 24th overall in 2015.