Hathaway awaiting ban for spitting
ARLINGTON, VA.—Garnet Hathaway was ejected for spitting on an opponent and now the Washington Capitals winger may have to swallow more punishment from the NHL.
Hathaway was given a match penalty for spitting on Anaheim Ducks defenceman Erik Gudbranson in a brawl during the Capitals’ 5-2 victory Monday. That carries with it an automatic suspension pending a review by the NHL, and it is likely the Capitals won’t have Hathaway in the lineup Wednesday night in New York against the Rangers.
There is little precedent for Hathaway’s actions, other than the part of the rule book that deems it worthy of an ejection and the league’s process of having its hockey operations department review each match penalty. Boston’s Brad Marchand was warned during the playoffs last spring about licking opponents but wasn’t suspended.
A decision from the league’s hockey operations department could come as late as Wednesday morning.
“You never want to sit and leave guys hanging and not be able to help out,” Hathaway said. “It would be unfortunate if I wasn’t (playing), but they are a team that can handle themselves and not worried about them in the outcomes of games.”
A day after drawing scorn from Gudbranson and the Ducks and generating buzz for spitting, Hathaway reiterated his remorse about the incident that took place late in the second period.
“I regret doing it,” Hathaway said. “I didn’t have any arms free and made an emotional decision that I wish I didn’t, but right now I am trying to move on from it and there is nothing that I can do but apologize.”
Hathaway has been a strong addition for the Capitals, putting up two goals and five assists and adding some grit that was missing last season. Now they’ll likely have to compensate for his absence for at least a game, if not longer.
“I don’t think anyone needs to step up and be Garnet Hathaway,” forward Travis Boyd said. “We got guys who will do that stuff. Maybe someone has to pick up a little bit of physicality for the night, or someone else has to go out there and get a couple of hits.
“Ultimately, we’ll see what happens with him, and we’ll hope to get him back as soon as we can.”