The NHL’s suspension appeal process needs to be better, and faster

Jason Spezza is serving a six-game suspension for his knee to the head on Neal Pionk. He’s currently four games into his suspension and awaiting an appeal with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Elliotte Friedman makes a valid point about appeals needing to be done faster in his latest 32 Thoughts.
From 32 Thoughts:
16. Something has to be done about appeal timelines. No matter what you think about Jason Spezza’s suspension, his previously clean record should earn him a fair appeal. Unless Commissioner Bettman surprisingly drops him a game, it’s almost impossible to get to an independent arbitrator before the six games are up. That’s not right, especially for someone with no history.
According to multiple reports, Spezza’s appeal hearing was on Tuesday — six days after he appealed the suspension. During that time, he’s missed three games, and we still haven’t heard anything about the appeal.
That doesn’t make sense.
At this point, Bettman will take one game off of Spezza’s suspension, and he’d be able to return on Saturday vs. the Canucks. If that even happens.
I understand that what Spezza did was predatory and dangerous, especially with Pionk’s head being …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Nick Robertson will be out for a month

After exiting Saturday’s game due to a knee injury, Sheldon Keefe told the media on Monday that Nick Robertson is expected to be on the sidelines for only a month.

The #leafs got “good news” on Nick Robertson yesterday, according to head coach Sheldon Keefe. He’ll miss about four weeks.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 18, 2021

While four weeks is quite a long time, it’s definitely a relief to hear that Robertson will be back to full strength in due time. The timetable makes his return to the lineup be around mid to late February.
Robertson exited the game after getting hit near the Leafs bench by Drake Batherson and having his left knee collided with the boards. He was in serious discomfort and left after only registering 2:20 of ice time and one shot.

Here is what happened to Robertson. pic.twitter.com/Xl8umePXEo
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) January 17, 2021

As a result of the injury, the Leafs have made quite a bit of transaction to reshuffle the deck. These include recalling Pierre Engvall to the taxi squad, placing Jason Spezza and Aaron Dell on waivers, and bringing up Mikko Lehtonen to make his NHL debut.
All stats unless …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation