St. Louis Blues left wing Alexander Steen (20) confronts Minnesota Wild left wing Mike Rupp (right) after a hit on right wing T.J. Oshie (not pictured) on Thursday.
Brad Rempel/Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Rupp’s return to the Minnesota Wild lineup on Thursday night was short, and he will be out the next four games as well, after being suspended by the NHL on Friday.
Rupp was given a four-game suspension for a "late, illegal check to the head" when he caught St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie in Thursday’s 4-2 Minnesota victory. Oshie carried the puck around to the blue line and made a pass before turning in Rupp’s direction. Rupp put his shoulder into Oshie’s chin.
Oshie was knocked down and was on the ice for several minutes before skating off under his own power. He missed the rest of the game and the St. Louis Blues announced via the team’s Twitter page that he would miss Friday night’s game at Dallas.
"Well after Oshie releases the puck, Rupp drives his left shoulder into Oshie’s head, making it the main point of contact and causing an injury," the league announced during the suspension video by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. "This is both an illegal check to the head and interference.
"With Oshie engaged with an opponent and facing the point, Rupp is in control of this check. If he wants to attempt to hit Oshie, he must do so within the allowable timeframe and in a legal manner. He does neither."
Rupp was given a match penalty for attempt to injure. Rupp’s suspension will include the Wild’s final regular-season game on Sunday and the first three playoff games.
It is the first fine or suspension in Rupp’s 11-year career. He will forfeit $7,692.31 as part of the league’s college bargaining agreement.
Rupp had been held out of the previous 23 games for Minnesota.