SUN Hockey Pool

Blueliners may pay for hits on Jackets

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:04 PM ET

Calgary Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf didn't hang around long enough to answer questions about the hit after being tossed from Wednesday's game.

Whether or not he has to answer to the NHL disciplinarians is a question on many minds at the moment.

Calls and e-mails to the league went unreturned last night, but hammering Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger's face into the glass just inside the offensive blueline about eight minutes into the opening period earned Phaneuf 20 minutes worth of penalties.

A major for boarding; five for fighting Marc Methot; and a game misconduct.

Great news for owners in fantasy leagues that count that as a stat, not so great news for the Flames, who lost their top minute man for the night.

Worse is the thought he could be suspended for a game or two for the infraction. And not just their offensive blueliner. Their best defensive rearguard, Robyn Regehr, could also have caught Colin Campbell's attention by drawing blood with a crosscheck to Derek Dorsett's forehead during a scrum in the second period.

Hard to imagine how the Flames would do without their best two defencemen in the lineup for a game or two.

Luckily, the league has in the past used a rule of thumb that depends on injury to determine punishment.

Umberger stayed in the game and scored his second goal of the period while Phaneuf was showering.

Dorsett scooted off to get sewn up, but he also returned for the third.

The league reviews every game, and must make any suspensions public before the team's next contest. So Campbell could make a ruling after the all-star break before the Flames host the Buffalo Sabres.

Just don't hold your breath if you loathe either defenceman. Many worse infractions have gone unpunished.


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