As penalty minutes and overtimes periods piling up during an increasingly ruthless edition of the NHL playoffs, New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin has been smacked with 3-game suspension for a hit against Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
About midway through the second period of Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series on Saturday, Hagelin leveled with Alredsson with an elbow to the head. Hagelin was assessed a major penalty for elbowing but Alfredsson would not return to the ice due to injury. Despite being diagnosed with a concussion, the Sens' captain is a game-time decision for Game 3 between New York and Ottawa.
The NHL's decision regarding Hagelin means that he won't see the ice for three games. NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations, Brendan Shanahan, broke down the play and explained the infraction on Hagelin, noting that he "finishes his check with his arms high, recklessly striking Alfredsson in the side of the head with his elbow."
Hagelin told reporters that he sent a text message to Alfredsson, a fellow Swede, to offer his apologies for the incident.
"I think Carl is not that kind of player, but with the intensity of everything that goes on in a playoff game, things happen," said Alfredsson on Monday. "He gets an elbow up where I think normally he wouldn't if it's not a playoff game, and that's one thing the league is preaching is blows to the head. I'm sure they went through it a lot of times and did the right thing [evaluating] what they had been watching.