|Justin Abdelkader was knocked from Saturday's game by an illegal hit to the head, but returned to score in the Wings' 3-0 win against St. Louis. |
– For the second time this season, the NHL has suspended a St. Louis player for an illegal hit to the head of a Red Wings’ player.
The latest Blues’ player to incur the wrath of Brendan Shanahan, the league’s lord of discipline, is defenseman Ian Cole who received, without pay, a three-game suspension for delivering an illegal check to the head of forward Justin Abdelkader
during the first period of Saturday’s game at Joe Louis Arena.
According to NHL.com, under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Cole will forfeit $21,081.09. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 9:11 of the first period when Abdeklader attempted to skate the puck across the blue line. A minor penalty for an illegal check to the head was assessed to Cole, whose left upper arm made contact with the right side of Abdelkader’s head, knocking the Wings’ forward hard to the ice.
Abdelkader needed help off the ice and was taken to the ‘quiet room’ where he underwent a battery of concussion tests. He missed the remainder of the first period, but returned to the game in the second, and even scored in the Wings’ 3-0 victory.
“Maybe the hockey gods were looking down on me,” said Abdelkader, following Saturday’s game. “It's just one of those plays we want to take out of the game. I don't know if he intentionally went after my head. It's one of those bang-bang plays. Just glad I could come back and help the team out.”
Cole joins Blues’ teammate Chris Stewart, who earned his own three-game suspension for shoving Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall
from behind and into the boards during a game in St. Louis on Nov. 15. For his illegal hit, the Blues’ forward donated $46,621.62 to the players’ fund.
“It's good to comeback from a hit like that,” Abdelkader said. “I didn't see the hit, but I definitely got hit in the head.”
Cole, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., and a former player at the University of Notre Dame, is eligible to return Jan. 10 at Montreal.
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