The National Hockey League slapped Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler with a three-game suspension Friday for an illegal check to the head.
Edler caught the head of San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl as the forward reached for a loose puck near the Canucks bench Thursday night.
Hertl's helmet flew off and his body was spun around, but he avoided injury.
No penalty was called on the play. Edler will forfeit nearly $183,000 due to the ban.
Hertl's head was the "main point of contact," according the league, warranting a multiple-game suspension to Edler, a repeat offender.
Last season, the Vancouver blueliner was suspended two games for charging.
KALETA OUT MINIMUM 5 GAMES
Buffalo Sabres tough guy Patrick Kaleta will likely be suspended for at least five games.
In the first period of Thursday’s game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, Kaleta delivered an illegal check to Jack Johnson’s head.
Kaleta is scheduled for an in-person hearing with the NHL's department of player safety to determine the length of the suspension. In-person hearings indicate the league is considering a ban of at least five games.
There was no penalty on the play, but Kaleta fought Jared Boll directly after the incident.
Johnson remained in the game and appears to have avoided injury.
RANGERS SWITCH IT UP
The New York Rangers, who are off to a 1-3 start to the 2013-14 season, have decided to switch things up.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Friday backup goalie Martin Biron will man the crease Saturday versus the St. Louis Blues.
“We’re being tested as a group,” Vigneault told Newsday following the club’s 6-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. "We're being challenged, and it's up to me as the head coach to get this team to play well, and that's what I'm going to do."
Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist, who has a .879 save percentage through four games, was at a loss when asked what has gone wrong so far.
"I don't have an explanation," Lundqvist said. “You try just to battle. I can only speak for myself. You try to stay confident, but that's really tough in ... a situation like this. I have to be better, we have to be better.”
ROY APOLOGIZES TO TROTZ
Patrick Roy’s rambunctious debut as an NHL coach made headlines last Wednesday.
Two nights later, following his club’s game versus the Nashville Predators, Roy apologized to the league’s longest-tenured bench boss, Barry Trotz, for his behaviour.
“After the game, he came by and just said, ‘I’m sorry, I should have more respect for our profession,’” Trotz told Sportsnet. “I think it took a big man for Patrick to come over and say that. (The outburst) was a little bit of a rookie mistake, but he’s a passionate man.”
Roy, in the Colorado Avalanche’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks, nearly broke down the stanchion dividing the two benches. He had been arguing with Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau at the tail end of the lopsided game.
The Halifax Mooseheads will be without Tampa Bay Lightning first-rounder Jonathan Drouin for an indefinite period of time.
Drouin suffered a groin injury Thursday during a team workout. He skated Friday but will miss at least Halifax’s Friday night game against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
The Lightning drafted the 18-year-old with the third overall pick this summer. Druoin was sent back to the Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in late September.
Washington Capitals defenceman John Erskine is day-to-day with a lower-body injury after being hurt during Thursday night’s game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Defenceman Nate Schmidt has been recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears … Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop is day-to-day with a lower-body injury after being hurt during Thursday night’s game versus the Florida Panthers … The Colorado Avalanche placed defenceman Matt Hunwick on waivers. The move was done to make room for Ryan Wilson, according to the Denver Post, who is ready to return from injury … Former Edmonton Oilers forward Gilbert Brule signed a professional tryout contract with the Portland Pirates, the Phoenix Coyotes’ AHL affiliate … Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Gionta will miss Saturday’s game in Vancouver versus the Canucks. Gionta is staying in Montreal for “personal reasons” … Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson has been activated off injured reserve. Gustavsson, who has been shelved with a groin injury, is expected to back up Jimmy Howard as the Wings sent goalie Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids, its AHL affiliate … Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner is day-to-day after being hurt during Thursday night’s game versus the New York Rangers … Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Tim Erixon has been demoted to the Springfield Falcons, Columbus’ AHL affiliate. Forward Ryan Craig has been called up in his place.