Gaustad dodges suspension

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

NHL VP of safety Brendan Shanahan has decided not to hold a hearing after reviewing the unpenalized hit from behind on Senators forward Jesse Winchester Tuesday.

Buffalo Sabres centre Paul Gaustad could get away with a $2,500 fine or even a warning. The Senators, meanwhile, will be without Winchester indefinitely with a concussion. He was at the rink Wednesday, but still feeling groggy.

“He still has headaches and everything that goes with it,” said coach Paul MacLean.

MacLean felt the hit warranted a second look.

“I thought it was a very dangerous play,” said MacLean. “It was a bigger man hitting a smaller man, which is part of it, I believe but also the stick being across the hips and running up to behind his head was the dangerous part.”

Winchester is a role player, but he has played a big role for the Senators. Injured in camp, he missed the first six games of the season but has been playing well since returning. His spot will be taken by Bobby Butler.

Butler, a healthy scratch after the arrival of Kyle Turris from Phoenix, has only two goals this season.

“(Butler’s) worked really hard off the ice and with the puck. He’s done really good things that way. He’s a (plus-6) player on the team,” said MacLean. “Unfortunately, the expectation is also that he’s going to shoot the puck in the net and that hasn’t happened for him.”


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