NHL suspends Avs' Erik Johnson for slash

Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson is escorted off the ice by linesman David Brisebois as he argues...

Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson is escorted off the ice by linesman David Brisebois as he argues a penalty call that gave the Islanders a two man advantage in the third period of an NHL game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on Feb. 8, 2014. (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:03 PM ET

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson can look forward to an extended Olympic break.

Johnson, a member of the silver-medal winning U.S. team in Vancouver but left off the roster for the Sochi Games, was suspended two games Tuesday for slashing New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen in the third period of Saturday’s game. Nielsen reportedly suffered a broken thumb on the play, which came on the last day before the NHL’s two-week Olympic shutdown.

“After Nielsen attempts to rim the puck behind the net to a teammate, Johnson chokes up on his stick and delivers a reckless two-handed slash, catching Nielsen across the thumb and injuring him,” the NHL’s Department of Player Safety explained in a video. “Nielsen makes no unpredictable movements, and Johnson’s reckless slash is violent and directly across the hand.”

Johnson, not considered a repeat offender by the NHL, was given a minor penalty for the slash. The suspension will cost him more than $38,000 in forfeited pay.


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