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Maple Leafs’ Jason Spezza has suspension reduced to four games

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Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza had his six-game suspension reduced to four games by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday.

Spezza was suspended on Dec. 7, two days after kneeing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in Toronto’s 6-3 loss. He already has sat out four games and is eligible to return for the Maple Leafs on Saturday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

The discipline came following an in-person hearing (over Zoom) for Spezza following a spate of incidents in the Maple Leafs-Jets game. Pionk received a two-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin during the third period of that game.

Less than two minutes after that hit, Pionk — who had lost his stick — dove to the ice to make a play for the puck. Spezza skated over and lowered his left knee to make forceful contact with the side of Pionk’s head.

Spezza, 38, has recorded 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 26 games this season.

He has 981 points (358 goals, 623 assists) in 1,203 career games with the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars and Maple Leafs. He was selected by the Senators with the second overall of the 2001 NHL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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