(97.1 The Ticket) – David Backes of the Bruins has been suspended three games for his hit to the head of Frans Nielsen in Boston’s 6-5 overtime win over the Red Wings on Tuesday night.
Nielsen, who left the game in the first period, has been ruled out of the Wings’ next two games. He will be re-evaluated on Monday.
To fill Nielsen’s roster spot, Detroit will call up 2015 first-round draft pick Evgeny Svechnikov from Grand Rapids, per the Free Press.
Svechnikov got off to a slow start this season after a terrific 2016-17 rookie campaign, but has rebounded of late with eight points in his last 11 games. He has seven goals and 22 points in 52 games on the year.
The 21-year-old right winger posted 20 goals and 51 points in 74 games last season.
After the Red Wings dealt winger Tomas Tatar to the Golden Knights at last Monday’s trade deadline, both general manager Ken Holland and head coach Jeff Blashill made it clear Svechnikov was closing in on a call-up.
“I know Svech has played very well here in the last little bit. I’m sure as the season goes along here over the last 20, I would foresee him getting an opportunity to show what he’s about. He wasn’t ready earlier in the year, he went through struggles. But that’s okay, that’s part of what life’s about,” Blashill said.
In an ironic twist, Svechnikov will likely make his first appearance for the Red Wings this season versus Tatar’s new team. Detroit hosts Vegas on Thursday night.
Svechnikov, the No. 19 overall selection in the 2015 draft, is one of the Wings’ best prospects and potentially a big piece of their future. This will be his second taste of the NHL after he made a two-game cameo at the end of last season.
As for the Backes suspension, the NHL Department of Player Safety issued the following video explanation Wednesday afternoon.
“Well after the puck is gone, Backes delivers a late, high hit that makes substantial head contact on Nielsen. This is interference. … In addition to the lateness of the check, what elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is the significant head contact that occurs and the force with which it is delivered.”
It’s the first suspension or fine levied against Backes in his 12-year career.