Vegas Golden Knights forward Brett Howden was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head on Seattle Kraken forward Brandon Tanev, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The hit occurred 6:02 into the third period of Tuesday’s season opener in Las Vegas, which the defending Stanley Cup champions won 4-1.
- Howden was assessed a match penalty, while Tanev left the game and did not return.
- Howden, who assisted on the Golden Knights’ first goal of the game, tallied six goals and seven assists in 54 games last season.
Vegas’ Brett Howden has been suspended for two games for an Illegal Check to the Head on Seattle’s Brandon Tanev. https://t.co/HDghfYoHUK
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) October 11, 2023
What does this mean for the Golden Knights?
Vegas will now be without Howden, who plays on the second line with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone, for the next two games against San Jose and Anaheim. The Golden Knights’ forward depth is being tested early this year, as they will also be without William Carrier who left Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury.
Paul Cotter will bump up in the lineup to take Howden’s spot on the second line, with Pavel Dorofeyev filling in behind him. The team will also recall Jonas Rondbjerg from the AHL to fill Carrier’s spot on the fourth line with Nicolas Roy and William Carrier.
It weakens Vegas’ forward group, but both Dorofeyev and Rondbjerg have played well in short stints in the NHL, so the team is equipped to handle the brief absence. Howden will return to the lineup Tuesday when Vegas hosts the Dallas Stars in a rematch of the Western Conference finals. — Jesse Granger, Vegas Golden Knights writer
(Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)