TORONTO (AP) - The NHL has suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan for three games following a blindside hit to the head of Anaheim's Dan Sexton.
Doan will lose more than $73,000 in salary as a result of the suspension, the NHL said Monday. While referees now have the right to assess in-game penalties for these illegal checks, Doan was not penalized for the hit in Phoenix's 3-2 loss on Sunday night.
"Doan delivered a late hit from the blind side to the head of an unsuspecting opponent," NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said. "While it was fortunate that Sexton did not suffer an injury, the message should be clear that this is the type of hit that we want out of our game."
Doan, who will miss games against Los Angeles, Carolina and Montreal, is eligible to return Oct. 26 at Ottawa. He is the third player to be punished this season for the recently enacted ban against blindside hits to the head.
Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was suspended for two games for delivering an illegal hit from behind on the Buffalo Sabres' Jason Pominville. Ottawa forward Nick Foligno was fined $2,500 for an illegal check to the head of Carolina forward Patrick Dwyer.