New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL has slapped an eight-game suspension on Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian for his high stick on the Oilers’ Sam Gagner.
The league said Kassian’s suspension will include the last three preseason games and the first five games of the regular season.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Kassian will forfeit $22,500. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Gagner suffered a broken jaw from Kassian’s hit and didn’t return. He will miss the start of the regular season.
“I had no intention of slashing him in the face,” Kassian said Monday after his hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. “It was definitely accidental and hopefully he gets back sooner than later.”
Gagner said on his Twitter account that he was on his way to recovery. “Thank you all for the support. Excited to come back stronger and hopefully better looking than a few days ago,” he tweeted.
Also, Canucks forward Dale Weise suspended for an illegal hit on Oilers forward Taylor Hall. Weise, who hit Hall in the head, got a minor penalty on the play.
Weise will sit out the remaining three games of the preseason but is eligible to return for the regular season.