NHL suspends Canucks wingers Kassian, Weise

Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian was suspended five regular-season games and the rest of the...

Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian was suspended five regular-season games and the rest of the pre-season for his high stick on Edmonton Oilers centre Sam Gagner. (RICH LAM/Getty Images/AFP)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:02 PM ET

VANCOUVER - The phone hearings are over and the verdicts are in.

Vancouver Canucks forwards Dale Weise and Zack Kassian will miss the rest of the pre-season and, for the latter, the first five regular season games after suspensions were handed out by the league Monday.

Both wingers were penalized for separate incidents targeting a pair of Edmonton forwards in Saturday's exhibition game against the Oilers.

Weise, who delivered a hit to the head of Taylor Hall, was given a three-game ban, while Kassian, who broke Sam Gagner's jaw with a reckless high stick, will sit for eight.

Kassian re-iterated Monday his double-minor infraction for swinging his stick, a result of a missed body check, was accidental, and "a hockey play."

His comments came soon after Oilers coach Dallas Eakins told media the incident was a "disturbing play by a disturbing player."

In response, Kassian said, "He can think what he wants. Good for him."

Gagner is expected to undergo surgery Tuesday.

The two teams next meet Oct. 5 when the Canucks open their home schedule against the Oilers.

With Kassian sitting out that showdown, Edmonton won't get their revenge until at least Dec. 13.

However, Oilers tough guy Ben Eager has already put Vancouver on notice, telling Sportsnet, "We play them a lot down the stretch, and we’re going to go after their skill players also.”

Weise will be allowed to slot into the season opener on Oct. 3 against the San Jose Sharks.

Elsewhere, the Canucks trimmed their roster ahead of Monday night's home pre-season tilt against the Phoenix Coyotes. Sent down to their AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets, are goaltender Joe Cannata, right winger Benn Ferriero and defencemen Patrick Mullen and Yann Sauve.

The club also recalled right-handed centre Zack Hamill, who has spent more of training camp and pre-season playing on the wing. The 25-year-old Vancouver native signed as a free agent in July with the Canucks after he was originally drafted eighth overall in 2007 by the Boston Bruins.


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