The National Hockey League has suspended Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt for five games, without pay, as a result of an elbowing incident during Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“We are disappointed to lose a player of Brendan’s caliber and character for this period of time, but we understand the League’s concerns regarding hits to the head,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Witt will forfeit $74,372.75. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
At 2:21 of the third period, Witt delivered a blow to the head area of Toronto forward Niklas Hagman. Hagman was injured on the play and did not return to the game. Officials assessed Witt a major penalty for elbowing and game misconduct on the play.
Witt will miss tonight's game against Buffalo, March 2 against Colorado, March 5 against the Rangers, March 7 against New Jersey and March 8 against Phoenix. He will be eligible to return March 10 at Toronto.