Matt Rempe finally addresses the dirty hit that earned him a four-game suspension

Matt Rempe has been one of the standout players in the NHL this season.

The 6’8” rookie came from nowhere and made a name for himself as one of the toughest guys in the league in just a couple of weeks.

Rempe has already fought some of the best fighters in the NHL and has become a huge fan favorite in Manhattan for his tough playing style and never-ending physical plays.

But Rempe has also received criticism for how he plays the game.

In the ten games Rempe has played, he has five fights. But he’s also delivered some questionable hits, and fans seem to agree that he needs to learn to control his big body so that his hits along the boards do not seriously injure players.

Earlier this March, Rempe was suspended four games after landing a high-elbowed hit to the head of Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler.

NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 22: Matt Rempe #73 of the New York Rangers warms up prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 22, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rempe has now served his suspension and is expected to be in the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Boston Bruins.

His time away from game action has also given him time to think about how he plays the game, and on Wednesday, he talked openly about what he’s learned.

”I made a mistake, and just going to learn from it and grow,” Rempe said.

”At 21, still got to learn lots of things. Watching games, you learn a lot. I can go watch a lot of the older guys and see what they’re doing.

“Got lots of great reps in practice, got to work on my skill, got to work on a lot of things. It was great. Obviously, you never want to be suspended, but you learn things, and you get better and you grow.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 11: Matt Rempe #73 of the New York Rangers looks on after a hit against Jonas Siegenthaler #71 of the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rempe still needs to play hard, but he needs to be smarter.

“More control of my body, just stuff like that,” he said. “If a guy is pulling out of a hit, just got to be careful. It was an accident. I thought I was going to hit the wall. … Never want to see a guy get hurt or anything like that. I’m still going to play super-hard, play the same way.

“I’m just going to make sure my hits are clean, like, keep everything compact, keep everything tight. It will be good. Just live and learn.”

COLUMBUS, OHIO – FEBRUARY 25: Matt Rempe #73 of the New York Rangers and Mathieu Olivier #24 of the Columbus Blue Jackets fight during the first period of a game at Nationwide Arena on February 25, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)

On social media, fans praised Rempe for his words about what he’s learned, and they’re all saying the same thing about it.

”Rangers need him in the playoffs, he brings a vibe they don’t have without him. He needs to take these last 15ish games and prove he can stay on the ice,” one said.

”Perfect answer. He’s learning. Just keep it controlled so you don’t hurt the team. We love the energy and physicality,” another said.

”Win response,” a third added.

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