Devils enforcer calls out Matt Rempe for not answering bell: ‘I lost respect for him’

NHL: New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rempe may be facing a suspension after his second period hit to Jonas Siegenthaler resulted in a 5-minute major and a game misconduct on Monday night.

The 21-year-old rookie, who has become the center of attention on Broadway and the fixation of every NHL tough guy, had an eventful final minute of play in the second period. After winning a draw and causing a screen that led to the Rangers game-winning goal by Erik Gustafsson, Rempe tried to put a stamp on the game with one of his signature booming hits.

As he lined up Siegenthaler along the boards, the defenseman pulled back to avoid contact, and Rempe’s elbow caught him on the jaw, knocking him out for the game.

A melee ensued with Devils enforcer Kurtis MacDermid getting a 10-minute misconduct trying to fight Rempe, who he was desperately trying to goad from puck drop. That’s because the last time these two teams played on February 22nd, Rempe laid out Nathan Bastian with a monstrous hit and was ejected for what was ruled a hit to the head. It’s likely one of the primary reasons MacDermid was acquired leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

“After a hit like that, it kind of goes without saying you should answer the bell and be a man about it,” MacDermid said. “The game goes on and he throws another hit like that … There’s a right way to go about it things and a wrong way. I kind of lost a lot of respect for him tonight.”

Related: Mark Messier ‘all in’ on Matt Rempe

Matt Rempe causing a stir in the NHL

NHL: St. Louis Blues at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Rempe-mania has taken the League by storm as the 6-foot-8 giant continues to make an impression in every game he plays. To date, he has two points (one goal, one assist), 31 hits, and a staggering 54 penalty minutes in just 10 games.

However, this last hit where his elbow chicken wings into Siegenthaler’s head is going to garner a look by NHL Department of Player Safety. Similar hits have almost always earned a suspension of a few games in the past.

Of course, it wasn’t just the hit that MacDermid was mad about. As Rempe was being ejected, he waved at him and the Devils with a big smile on his face.

“I just wish I could’ve got to him sooner and taught him a lesson,” MacDermid said. “He’s a young kid and he has a lot to learn still. You don’t do things like that your first year in the League.”

The comments by MacDermid, who plays less than five minutes a night, contradicts what many others have said about Rempe. That includes the NHL’s top enforcer, Ryan Reaves, who went after the rookie all game in Toronto on March 2.

“He’s seems to be a really nice, humble kid,” Reaves said. “That’s a big boy. He’s gonna be a menace in this League.”

The Hudson River rivals will meet one more time this season on April 3 at Madison Square Garden. It was a contest already circled on many people’s calendars before the season started, but now it’s been circled again with a Sharpie and colored in with a yellow highlighter.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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