It’s safe to say Jordan Binnington has made more friends than enemies since making his NHL debut in 2019.
While he certainly made a good impression over the course of a rookie campaign that ended with the Blues raising the Stanley Cup, he’s failed to live up to expectations since signing a six-year, $36 million contract with St, Louis in 2021.
The goaltender has also seen his (fairly mediocre) play overshadowed by the short fuse that has repeatedly landed him in hot water, including the time he threw a water bottle at Nazem Kadri and hit Jason Zucker with a wildly uncalled-for cheap shot earlier this season.
Binnington was able to avoid any serious discipline for those acts, but the NHL was finally forced to crack down on the troublemaking netminder thanks to what transpired during a showdown between the Blues and the Wild this week.
While he was obviously less than thrilled about giving up a goal to Ryan Hartman, that didn’t excuse Binnington’s decision to hit the forward with his blocker to spark a minor melee that saw Marc-André Fleury skate all away across the rink to (unsuccessfully) try to fight him.
Binnington was ejected from the game for his troubles before being ordered to meet with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which ultimately determined his actions warranted a two-game suspension.
On Friday, the St. Louis goalie didn’t really do himself any favors when he spoke with the media about the hearing and bizarrely compared himself to Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting.
Binnington, on Thursday's hearing with NHL Player Safety: "It felt like I was in Good Will Hunting acting as Will trying to defend himself in trial. A new experience, for sure, and definitely not something I want to go through all the time."
— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 17, 2023
If you’re not familiar with the scene in question, it involves the misunderstood genius citing arcane legal statutes in front of a judge after he was arrested for punching a police officer who intervened after he and his ragtag group of South Boston misfits got into a gang fight.
That comparison probably isn’t going to help him make any new fans.