Jets’ Dillon to have hearing for hit to the head on Penguins’ Acciari

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Brenden Dillon will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his hit to the head on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Noel Acciari, the league announced Wednesday.

The hearing will be over the phone, according to the Winnipeg Free Press’s Mike McIntyre, meaning any potential suspension handed to Dillon can not exceed five games.

Dillon was assessed a match penalty after catching Acciari with a hit to the head as the Penguins forward attempted to enter the offensive zone early in the second period of the Jets’ 3-0 loss on Tuesday. The Winnipeg defenceman left his feet to make the hit.

According to rule 21.1 of the NHL rulebook, a match penalty “shall be imposed on any player who deliberately injures an opponent in any manner.”

Acciari was attended to by Penguins medical staff on the ice before eventually skating to the Penguins locker room with some assistance.

The Penguins later announced Acciari would not return to the game.

After the game, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters that Acciari is still being evaluated and they will let the league handle any supplemental discipline.

“We’ll allow the league to go through their process like they always do,” Sullivan said. “At the end of the day, our opinions don’t really matter. Our major concern is Noel and his health, and he seems to be doing OK.”

Dillon will now be “suspended from further competition until the Commissioner has ruled on the issue” according to rule 21.2.

The 33-year-old defenceman came into Tuesday’s game with six goals and nine assists in 47 games.

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