Detroit Red Wings' defenseman Justin Abdelkader was suspended for two games after a hit he delivered to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' Toni Lydman in Game 3 of the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Brendan Shanahan, the league's senior vice president of hockey operations and player safety. delivered the news in a video message Sunday night.
"As the video shows, Abdelkader skates a considerable distance and elevates to violently check Lydman and making significant head contact," NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan said in an explanation (see above). "This is charging."
Abdelkader also left both feet when he rose in the air to collide with Lydman, who was carrying the puck, Shanahan (a former Detroit Red Wing star) noted.
Shanahan said that Lydman's injury also factored into his decision. Citing a sore neck and migraine, Lydman isn't expected to suit up for Game 4 on Monday night.
Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock said after Saturday night's game that he thought the hit was clean.
"His shoulder hit his shoulder, and the kid went down hard. They called it a major. I'm not involved in the next part of the process," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I didn't think he was up. I didn't think his arms were up or anything."
The Wings are already down 2-1 in the series vs. Anaheim. Abdelkader's penalty is also the third suspension of the NHL series so far. Ottawa Senators' Eric Gryba was suspended two games for hitting Montreal's Lars Eller. Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins was also suspended one game for a hit on Mikhail Grabovski.