- Kristen Shilton is a national NHL reporter for ESPN.
New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller on Tuesday was suspended three games for unsportsmanlike conduct following an incident in which he spit in the face of Los Angeles Kings defender Drew Doughty, the NHL Player Safety department announced Tuesday.
A scuffle broke out around the 16:37 mark of the first period of Sunday’s game after the incident, resulting in a match penalty for Miller.
In addition, Miller will forfeit $15,000 in salary, which goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
This is the first supplemental discipline for Miller, 23, who was the Rangers’ first-round draft choice (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL entry draft. It’s the same number of games that former Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was suspended three years ago for spitting at former Anaheim Ducks defender Erik Gudbranson.
Miller did not address the media after the game, but he expressed in a social media post Monday that his actions against Doughty were “completely accidental.”
“I have all the respect in the world for Drew Doughty and what happened was completely accidental,” Miller wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “I would never intend to do something like that on purpose, it goes against everything I am as a person and player. I felt awful about it, and I am thankful Drew gave me the opportunity to apologize and explain myself in person after the game.”
Doughty told reporters after the game that he was “shocked” by what Miller did.
“I don’t even know if I said anything to him after, but I just immediately went to the ref to try to get the penalty,” Doughty said. “But you don’t want to see things like that in this game, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that. I’m sure it has happened, but not that I’ve seen.
“It’s unfortunate, and whether or not he meant to do it, I have no idea. … I was pretty pissed.”
Miller will be eligible to return for New York on March 9 against the Montreal Canadiens.
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