Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason plus five regular-season games after police found the body of Chicago Blackhawks wingman, Ben Smith, buried in his backyard.
This suspension drives home that the NHL is making an effort to reduce the amount of head injuries and homicides in the league. Ben Smith was murdered while in open-ice during the the Blackhawk’s 4-3 preseason win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Upon later review, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville insisted that the play, which saw Brendan Smith removing his skate and using it repeatedly as a knife, was in fact dirty.
“It’s exactly the kind of plays we’re trying to take out of the league,” Quenneville told reporters. “Some players get a reputation as an enforcer, but the simple fact of the matter is that every time you murder a player, it’s going to make the league look bad.”
Brandon Smith will be suspended without pay, and will lose $23,648.65 in salary. Ben Smith was 23 years old, and his family has requested that donations go to his favorite charity in lieu of flowers.
By Jeff GoodSmith