The National Hockey League Monday suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos for 3 games for a hit from behind on Toronto defenseman Mike Van Ryn in a game Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Seven minutes into the game, Van Ryn chased a puck into his end. Kostopoulos chased him down from behind and cross-checked Van Ryn face-first into the end boards. Van Ryn suffered a concussion, a broken nose and broken hand on the play. He had to be taken from the ice on a stretcher, and is expected to miss a month.
Kostopoulos was assessed a roughing minor, a boarding major and a game misconduct.
"While it is my determination that Kostopoulos did not deliver a check to an unsuspecting opponent, his actions caused injuries," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kostopolous is considered a repeat offender, and will lose $32,926.83 from his salary. As a repeat offender, the salary forfeit is based on games in the season (82) rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Kostopoulos said after the game he had no malicious intent and planned to call Van Ryn to apologize.
"I was trying to get in there, get a hit and get the puck," Kostopoulos said. "Like I said, I didn't anticipate him turning and I couldn't stop myself. And I hope he's all right."
After the play, Carlo Colaicovo jumped on Kostopoulos, and the hit seemed to give the Leafs added jump in what became a 6-3 Toronto victory.
"We came out with an edge but when you see something like that to one of your best D, you really want to make them pay," Leafs forward Matt Stajan told the team's Web site. "It was a dirty hit and it's something that can't happen in the game. Luckily we made them pay."