The NHL playoffs are always a thrilling time for hockey fans, and the 2023 playoffs are shaping up to be no exception. However, one incident during the first-round series between the Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken has left many fans and analysts talking.
In Game 3 of the series, Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar delivered a hit to Kraken forward Jared McCann that left McCann lying on the ice and in need of medical attention. The hit was immediately controversial, with some fans and Kraken players calling for Makar to be ejected and suspended.
Now, it appears that Makar’s hit on McCann will be the subject of a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. The hearing, which is scheduled to take place early next week, will determine whether Makar will face any supplemental discipline for the hit.
Makar has been one of the NHL’s most exciting young defensemen since breaking into the league in 2019. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie in his first season and has been a key part of Colorado’s success over the past few seasons.
However, Makar’s hit on McCann has caused some to question his judgment on the ice. McCann, who was one of Seattle’s top scorers during the regular season, was forced to leave the game following the hit and did not return.
The NHL Department of Player Safety is known for taking a hardline approach to hits that they deem to be dangerous or intentional. If they find that Makar’s hit on McCann falls into either category, he could be facing a suspension that could harm Colorado’s chances of advancing in the playoffs.
Despite the controversy surrounding Makar’s hit on McCann, the Avalanche have been one of the strongest teams in the league throughout the regular season and playoffs. Led by star forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, they will be looking to make a deep run in the playoffs and win their first Stanley Cup since 2001.
While the hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety will likely cast a shadow over the Avalanche’s playoff run, the team will be hoping that Makar can avoid any additional discipline and play a key role in helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final. The playoffs are always full of drama and controversy, and the 2023 edition is shaping up to be no different.