TORONTO (AP) -Los Angeles Kings forward John Zeiler was suspended three games without pay by the NHL on Monday for ramming Colorado defenseman Adam Foote into the boards during the second period of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.
Zeiler was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct following the hit, which occurred at 6:51 of the second period. He will miss games against Calgary, Edmonton and Chicago before being eligible to return Dec. 1 against Toronto. Zeiler will lose $8,770.17, with the money going to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.
Foote was chasing the puck into the left corner of the Avalanche zone when Zeiler shoved him into the boards with his right forearm. Foote remained motionless on his stomach for several moments while his teammates went after Zeiler.
"I heard it, then I turned around and I saw Foote on the ice," Colorado forward Ian Laperriere said after the game. "I kind of knew it wasn't a clean hit because (Zeiler) is known for that. He did that last year, checking guys from behind and stuff like that. So we all jumped in there to back up our teammate."
The play occurred right in front of referee Stephane Auger, who made no call until after the ensuing fight broke out. Foote eventually got up and was escorted off the ice by Laperriere and a trainer.
It was only the second game this season for Zeiler, who racked up 45 penalty minutes in 59 NHL games before this season.