Flying against its normal tradition of looking the other way when marquee players are involved in questionable hits, the National Hockey League announced a modest two-game suspension today against Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin.
The incident took place in the first period of Monday's game against the Carolina when Ovechkin extended his knee while delivering a hit to Hurricanes' defenceman Tim Gleason. Ovechkin was assessed a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct on the play.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average salary, Ovechkin will forfeit $98,844.16. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Ovechkin will miss Washington's next two games - Dec. 3 against Florida and Dec. 5 at Philadelphia. He will be eligible to return Dec. 7 at Tampa Bay.
Ovechkin had a similar knee-on-knee collision with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sergei Gonchar in last year's playoffs that went unpunished. Ten days ago, the Montreal Canadiens lost enforcer Georges Laracque for five games as a result of a knee-on-knee collision with the Detroit Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall.
A former NHL scoring champion and MVP, this marks Ovechkin's first-ever suspension.