TORONTO (AP) - Calgary Flames forward Tom Kostopoulos suspended six games by the NHL on Sunday for his head shot on Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart.
Stuart was injured during the third period of Detroit's 5-4 shootout victory at Calgary on Friday night. He's expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
"Kostopoulos delivered a blow to the head of an unsuspecting and vulnerable player," NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said in a statement. "As well, he targeted the head of his opponent and, while the hit was not from the blindside, the head was the principle point of contact."
Campbell also said the fact that Stuart was not in possession of the puck at the time was a factor in his decision.
The Red Wings called for the league to come down hard on Kostopoulos, with Detroit coach Mike Babcock saying Saturday, "If you make a stand hard enough when this stuff happens, this stuff won't happen."
Babcock also called Kostopoulos' hit "really disappointing" and "a needless play."
Kostopoulos will lose $29,569.92 in salary. The hit came in the first full season in which the NHL is handing out discipline for head shots.
An elbow by Kostopoulos also sidelined Minnesota's Nick Schultz with a concussion earlier this season.