Ovechkin suspended

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for two games for his hit on Brian Campbell on Sunday....

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for two games for his hit on Brian Campbell on Sunday. (REUTERS/Joe Giza)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:42 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Upon further review, the long arm of the NHL law has, in fact, come down on Alex Ovechkin, suspending the Washington Capitals superstar for two games Monday for a “reckless hit.”

When Ovechkin was slapped with a boarding major and game misconduct for pushing Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell into the unforgiving United Center boards Sunday, the initial reaction of league officials was that the incident likely would not result in any further supplementary discipline.

But when the news came out that Campbell had suffered a broken collarbone and rib, the league took a closer look at the circumstances involved in the play.

According to a league official, the “injury inflicted always carries weight when it can be determined there can be anything wrong with the play.”

Also playing into the decision was Ovechkin’s priors.

According to the NHL rule book, the automatic suspension for a second boarding major runs out after 41 games, meaning Ovechkin just barely is free of that. At the same time, the fact that he already had one boarding infraction this season, along with an earlier two-game ban for kneeing, played a factor in the league’s decision.

Ovechkin, who was suspended for two games on November 30, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits $232,645.40 US in salary, based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (193. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Ovechkin will miss Washington’s next two games - March 16 at Florida and March 18 at Carolina. He will be eligible to return March 20 at Tampa Bay.

Campbell, meanwhile, is expected to be out for the remainder of the regular season, if not longer.

Speaking with TSN, the injured defenceman wondered how parents in the U.S. would ever want their kids playing hockey after the post-Olympic incidents involving Ovechkin's hit on him and Matt Cooke's blindside crushing of Marc Savard.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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