The Boogie Man has been banished.
Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard was handed a five-game suspension yesterday for his elbow to the head of Calgary Flames winger Brandon Prust.
Prust, playing in just his fourth game after missing two-and-a-half months with a broken jaw, suffered what head coach Mike Keenan called "a possible concussion" late in Friday night's game.
Keenan said Prust did not re-injure his jaw on the play.
"He's day-to-day," Keenan said. "I don't know what his status will be for (tonight). He'll be evaluated and we'll go from there.
"His jaw is fine. It's a possible concussion.
"He has to be symptom-free to be able to play."
Prust did not practice yesterday, and the club recalled forward Warren Peters from the AHL Quad City Flames.
Boogaard was handed a boarding minor on the play, as well as a coincidental roughing call for the ensuing scrum with Flames defenceman Jim Vandermeer.
Prior to yesterday's ruling, Keenan said the hit warranted a look by the NHL's head office.
"I don't mind people being physical and body-checking but, in this case, the individual left his feet with a deliberate blow to the head," Keenan said.
"The league looks at these issues on a daily basis, so it's not a matter of us contacting them at all."
Despite the league taking swift action on the infraction, Boogaard maintained he did not intend to injure Prust.
"I was just going in to finish the hit," Boogaard said of the hit that earned him his first NHL suspension.
"You never want to see anybody get hurt. But I think the glass and the boards are so hard in Calgary that he probably hit his head there. I know it wasn't my elbow."
Flames tough guy Andre Roy, recovering from a concussion of his own, was back on the ice at yesterday's practice.
Roy, no stranger to the sin bin himself, said Boogaard's hit crossed the line.
"With a 4-1 score and a minute and half left, you don't need to go out and run somebody like that with an attempt to injure," Roy said.
"There's no room for that gesture in the league.
"The league is being severe on blows to the head. They are taking action on that lately."
Roy said most enforcers abide by the unwritten code that suggests a policeman shouldn't stray too far from his beat.
"It doesn't look good for any tough guy," Roy said.
"If we play the Oilers and I run (Ales) Hemsky, it won't look good on their tough guys.
"You need to have respect between each other.
"You want to fight the other tough guy. If it doesn't work, then there are other games to do that.
"There is a certain area to draw the line."