How many games should Gustav Nyquist be suspended for high stick?

Gustav Nyquist made headlines for committing a nasty high stick on Jared Spurgeon. He deserves a suspension, but how many games will the NHL give him?

What has been a nightmare season for the Detroit Red Wings so far is about to get even worse. They hold the longest active postseason streak, but currently sit in last place in the East, two points behind the Buffalo Sabres. And in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, the only noteworthy incident that occurred was a high stick committed by Gustav Nyquist on Jared Spurgeon.

In case you missed it, here’s the play:

It was an awful play and was done with the intent to injure. Nyquist can hardly say it was provoked because all Spurgeon did was give him a light shove. Even though Nyquist avoided an ejection, a suspension seems inevitable once the NHL reviews this.

It’s a real shame to see a player like Nyquist get involved in something like this, too. It looked like he had a bright future ahead of him when he came in at the end of the 2013-14 season and willed his team to the playoffs. His knack for scoring flashy goals also had some people touting him as the next Pavel Datsyuk.

While this type of play has no place in the NHL, it’s an all too familiar sight for Wild fans. Late last season, against the Chicago Blackhawks, Duncan Keith swung his stick at Charlie Coyle, which resulted in an ejection. He was later hit with a six-game suspension, which included the first game of the Blackhawks’ first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Given that the Blues won that series in seven, he cost his team dearly on that play.

ESPN’s NHL analyst John Buccigross thinks Nyquist should get seven games, despite thinking there was no intent to injure.

Even though Wild fans are experiencing a sense of deja vu on this play, Nyquist probably won’t get as many games as Keith. For one, he didn’t get ejected, although the merits of that call seem questionable. Keith was also a repeat offender, suspended twice before that high stick, while Nyquist has no history with the NHL’s Player Safety Department.

That being said, a play like this deserves three games at the very least. Nyquist has struggled mightily this season, as he only has seven goals and 29 points and given how poorly the Red Wings have played thus far, he won’t exactly be sorely missed if he’s handed a lengthy suspension.

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