Sabres' John Scott suspended 7 games for head shot

Buffalo Sabres defenceman John Scott was suspended seven games Thursday for an illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson.

Levelled Bruins forward Loui Eriksson last week

Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott, right, was penalized for this hit on Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson on Thursday. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News/Associated Press)

The waiting game is over for Buffalo Sabres tough guy John Scott. 

Scott was suspended seven games on Thursday by the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety for an illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson during a game last Wednesday. 

He had already missed three contests after being banned indefinitely last week ahead of his hearing.

The six-foot-eight, 270-pound Scott's controversial hit drew plenty of criticism and reaction from fans over the past week. The incident occurred during a game last Wednesday in Buffalo.

At 5:49 of the third period of Boston's 5-2 win, Eriksson dumped the puck into the Sabres' zone and Scott followed the red line to deliver the blow on his opponent, appearing to raise his shoulder up and making Eriksson's head the principle point of contact.

NHL head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan acknowledged in a video explanation that Eriksson wasn't in a vulnerable position at the time of the hit, but also cited the dangerous nature of the play itself.

"Although this is not an elbow to the head, the follow-through that occurs after contact indicates to us a significant level of force delivered on this illegal check to the head," Shanahan said. "It's important to note that Eriksson does not materially change the position of his body or head just prior to or simultaneously with the hit.

"Therefore, on this play the onus is entirely on Scott to ensure that Eriksson's head is not the main point of contact of any hit he chooses to make."  

Shanahan also cited Scott's clean disciplinary history as a factor that worked in his favour.

The Boston sniper left the contest and was later diagnosed with a concussion as a result. Scott, a native of Edmonton, Alta., received a match penalty for his actions.

Scott will forfeit $26,923.05 US in salary as per terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. All of that money will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. 

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