Flyers’ Brandon Manning suspended two games for hit on Penguins’ Jake Guentzel

Philadelphia will be without Brandon Manning for its upcoming pair of home games.

The Flyers defenseman has been suspended two games for interference on Penguins rookie forward Jake Guentzel during Saturday’s NHL Stadium Series game at Heinz Field, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced Monday.

Manning, who met with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday morning, crushed Guentzel with what appeared to be a high head check during the second period of Philadelphia’s loss to Pittsburgh in the outdoor showdown. Guentzel stayed in the game and didn’t appear to be injured, though no penalty was assessed on the questionable play.

With Manning out, fellow defenders Andrew MacDonald and Nick Schultz are expected to fill the void before the 26-year-old is eligible to return March 4 in Washington against the Capitals.

Marian Gaborik (No. 3) was the first pick in franchise history, and he’s been the best player they’ve ever drafted. Nick Schultz (No. 33) was the second pick and has surpassed 1,000 career games as a steady defenseman. If only the Wild could have stopped there. This is another franchise, like the one that left the Twin Cities, that has made a great pick here and there, but hasn’t been able to find 3-4 good players in any draft. It’s yet another franchise that hasn’t drafted a consistent No. 1 goaltender.

The Canadiens have had several strong drafts (special shout out to 2007, when they drafted Ryan McDonagh, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban) but 1971 can give the Red Wings’ Class of ’89 a run as the best 1-2 punch in a draft class.

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