TORONTO (AP) -The NHL suspended Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund for four games Sunday for his stick-swinging hit on Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu.
Koivu was injured in the third period Friday night after getting whistled for an elbowing penalty. Ohlund responded by swinging his stick and slashing Koivu, cracking a bone in the forward's left leg.
Ohlund said Koivu elbowed him in the face, but regretted reacting to the hit.
"The elbow to the face, I don't think it was a very good play from his part, but looking back I wish I would have done something different than I did," Ohlund said Sunday night in Vancouver where the Canucks hosted Calgary.
He isn't eligible to return until Nov. 25 at home against Chicago.
"It doesn't matter if I agree or not," said Ohlund, who has three goals and three assists while averaging 23:33 of ice time. "I got four games, and I'll do my best with the situation."
He will be missed. The Canucks were already playing without defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo. Bieksa will miss another four-to-six weeks due to a calf injury, and Salo is out indefinitely with a broken nose.
"It was the league's decision," general manager Dave Nonis said of the suspension. "We're obviously going to live by it and respect the job that they have to do."
Koivu has five goals with 11 assists in 19 games for the Wild. He will miss about a week.
Ohlund will forfeit $74,866.32 in salary.