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Red Wings Prospect in Hot Water With Swedish Disciplinarians

Niederbach issued 4-game ban



Theodor Niederbach, Red Wings prospect
Red Wings draftee Theodor Niederbach is appealing a 4-game suspension he was issued in the SHL for an illegal hit to the head.

Detroit Red Wings draft pick Theodor Niederbach’s Swedish club is appealing a four-game suspension he’s been given by the SHL. In weekend action while playing for MoDo Hockey, game officials were assessing Niederbac a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head.

The Swedish forward drove his left forearm into the head of Timra’s Axel Rindell during an open-ice hit during the second period of the game. His immediate expulsion from the game was resulting from the call on the play.

The disciplinary committee of the SHL would follow up by handing Niederbach a four-game suspension. Niederbach, 21, was also given a fine of 6,785 Swedish Krona, the equivalent of about $660.

In their ruling, the SHL noted that Niederbach’s only point of contact with Rindell was to the head, presenting a higher likelihood of serious injury. The ruling was also taking note that Rindell had lost possession of the puck. Thus, entire avoidance of the hit was an option available to Niederbach..

The suspension was partially the result of Niederbach being a repeat offender. He was given a match penalty last season for boarding.

Instantly, MoDo officials were making the announcement that they would be appealing the suspension to Sweden’s National Sports Board.

“We think the outcome is far too harsh considering that their players take no responsibility at all in this case,” MoDo sports director Henrik Gradin wrote in a text message to Swedish website Expressen. “I’m afraid of where Swedish ice hockey is going,”

Red Wings Must Make Decision On Niederbach

Detroit’s 51st overall selection in the 2020 NHL entry draft, Niederbach remains without an NHL contract. Detroit has until June 1 to decide whether to sign him or the Red Wings will lose his NHL rights.

If the National Sports Board makes the decision to uphold his suspension, Niederbach will be missing four of MoDo’s eight remaining SHL regular-season games. MoDo is currently 10th in the 14-team SHL. In his third SHL season, Niederbach owns a share of 12th in team scoring with 5-5-10 totals. He’s second on the team in penalty minutes (31) and owns the club’s third-worst plus-minus (-13).

The chances of Niederbach getting a reduction in his suspension would appear remote. Another former Red Wings prospect, Albin Grewe of Djurgardens, took a similar route. He sought to have his five-game SHL ban overturned by the National Sports Board earlier this month. His bid was denied.

Detroit’s 66th pick in the 2019 NHL entry draft, the team made the decision not to sign Grewe to an NHL pact last year.