TORONTO (CP) -- Toronto Maple Leafs left-winger Ryan Hollweg was given an automatic three-game suspension by the National Hockey League on Wednesday.
Hollweg received a game misconduct for a boarding call on rookie defenceman Alex Pietrangelo in Monday's 5-4 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues. The suspension was automatic since it was Hollweg's fourth game misconduct within 41 games.
``Basically I was just following him pretty much shoulder to shoulder, kind of angling him towards the boards,'' Hollweg said after practice Wednesday. ``I felt if he had continued to skate forward it would have just been a rub-out play and play would have continued. I felt he turned back and with that kind of speed and momentum it's hard to change gears in a split second like that.
``I was going to the boards hard myself and wasn't intending to hit him from behind. I was just trying to rub him out and cut his angle off. That's the way I saw the play develop.''
Pietrangelo was shaken up after the hit but continued to play in the game. If Hollweg is assessed another game misconduct for boarding, hitting from behind or certain stick infractions over the next 41 games, he will automatically get a four-game suspension.
Hollweg said he had a chat with coach Ron Wilson during practice.
``He just basically said that he wants me to be in the lineup and I have to be more careful and make sure I'm helping the team on the ice and not sitting out,'' Hollweg said.
He added that playing on the edge is part of his game.
``Obviously there aren't going to be any breaks coming my way,'' he said. ``I've seen many incidents that were worse than that that have never even been called so there definitely is a double standard.
``I've got to blame myself for that. I brought it on myself. Nobody can do anything about it but me.''
Hollweg, who will forfeit US$18,750 in salary, will be eligible to return Oct. 23 against the Boston Bruins.