Buffalo Sabres forward Brad Boyes is the latest player to be dealt a suspension on NHL senior vice-president of player safety Brendan Shanahan's watch.
On Sunday, Shanahan announced Boyes will be suspended for two pre-season games resulting from an illegal hit to the head of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joe Colborne during Buffalo's 3-2 win on Saturday night on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
The incident occurred at 1:46 of the first period, but no penalty was called on the play. Colborne circled out in front of the net, swivelled away from the goal and was levelled by Boyes, losing the puck in the process.
Shanahan explained the hit and resulting suspension in a video on NHL.com, stating it was a violation of Rule 48, which deals with head shots.
"The video shows that Colborne's head is the principal point of contact of Boyes's hit," Shanahan said. "While this play develops quickly, Colborne makes no sudden movements just prior to, or simultaneous with the hit, placing the onus on Boyes not to hit him in the head.
"While I believe Boyes's assertion that he did not intentionally target the head, this is a reckless hit that is now illegal."
He also referenced the 29-year-old's track record in deciding the appropriate disciplinary action.
"It is very important to note that Brad Boyes has never been suspended in his entire NHL career and that there was no apparent injury on the play," said Shanahan. "For these reasons, I have suspended Brad Boyes for two pre-season games and from this point forward he will be considered a repeat offender."
Boyes will be forced to sit out tilts against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday night and Friday's matchup with the Washington Capitals. He is eligible to return Oct. 4 against German club Adler Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany.
It was the most recent in a series of suspensions this off-season, beginning with Calgary Flames forward Pierre-Luc Létourneau-Leblond, who received a five-game ban for an incident against the Vancouver Canucks last Tuesday.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley got a 10-game suspension — five pre-season games and five regular season games — for a hit on Leafs centre Darryl Boyce on Wednesday night.
On Saturday, Shanahan announced Minnesota Wild forward Brad Staubitz and Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman James Wisniewski were suspended indefinitely pending hearings and a review by the NHL's department of player safety.
Boyes, 29, has played for four NHL teams over his career — The San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and the Sabres. He's scored 150 goals and notched 199 assists in 493 career games.
The Mississauga, Ont. native was originally drafted in the first round — 24th overall — by the Leafs in 2000.