Alex Burrows suspended 3 games by NHL for Alexei Emelin hit
Forward illegally hit Habs' Alexei Emelin
The NHL's department of player safety on Friday suspended Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows three games for an illegal hit on Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin.
Burrows had a hearing Friday afternoon for the Thursday night hit in Vancouver, where the Canucks beat Montreal 3-2 in overtime. The ruling describes Burrows's hit as a late illegal check to the head of Emelin.
Burrows landed the hit at 8:23 of the second period a full second after Emelin released the puck, and elevated his shoulder to meet the head of the Habs defenceman. Given these circumstances, the NHL ruled the hit should not have been made.
No penalty was given out on the play. Though visibly shaken, Emelin returned to the game after going to the dressing room for a short period.
Burrows's four previous fines factored into the decision, the league said.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning was surprised by the NHL's ruling. After reviewing the play, Benning did not believe that Burrows would receive three games for a hit he believes was intended to be shoulder-to-shoulder.