The Kings won’t be at full strength when the regular season begins next Wednesday in San Jose. They learned Wednesday they’ll be without winger Tanner Pearson, who was suspended by the NHL for the rest of the exhibition season plus two regular-season games for an illegal check Sunday.
Pearson also was fined $15,555.56.
Here’s a link to the NHL’s video explanation: https://www.nhl.com/video/pearson-suspended-for-hit-to-head/t-277350912/c-45092103
The Kings also will be without injured winger Marian Gaborik, who suffered a broken right foot during the World Cup on Sept. 25 in Toronto that will sideline him for two months. Gaborik is scheduled to be re-examined by a team doctor the week of Oct. 16, according to coach Darryl Sutter.
Sutter hoped to determined who might best replace Gaborik during exhibition games in Las Vegas on Friday against the Dallas Stars and Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Now, Sutter has two vacancies to fill for the regular-season’s first two games.
Pearson was banned Wednesday for an illegal hit to the head of the Edmonton Oilers’ Brandon Davidson during the the Kings’ exhibition loss Sunday. Pearson was ejected from the game and now will serve the first suspension of his 146-game NHL career.
“I didn’t mean to have contact with the head, but that’s the way the game is now, and it’s one of those things that happened and it’s over with and now I’ve got to pay the consequences,” said Pearson, who is eligible to return to the lineup for an Oct. 18 game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minn.
“I’m just going to deal with it.”
Pearson said he was trying to hit Davidson, an Oilers defenseman, in the shoulder on a play at center ice. Pearson drove his shoulder into Davidson’s head instead, injuring him and drawing a match penalty and a game misconduct at the 11-minute mark of the second period.
“I don’t want to do it again,” said Pearson, who was the Kings’ seventh-leading scorer last season with 36 points, including 15 goals, in 79 games. “I don’t like missing hockey games. It’s unfortunate what happened and I’ve got to sit out now.”