New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NHL has suspended Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler three games without pay for an illegal check to the head of San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl.
The incident took place with 14 seconds left in the second period of Vancouver's 4-1 loss to San Jose on Thursday.
"Edler does not hit Hertl squarely," explained NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan in a video description of the incident. "He cuts across the front of Hertl, making the head the main point of contact.
"Although Hertl is leaning forward, the position of his head does not materially change immediately prior to, or simultaneous with the hit that significantly contributes to this head contact. Aside from his helmet popping up into the air, Hertl's reaction to this hit -- getting spun rather than getting driven into the direction Edler was traveling -- reaffirms our view that his head is the main point of contact."
Edler is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $182,926.83. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.