Jared Cowen suspended 3 games by NHL for Jussi Jokinen hit
Senators defenceman cited for interference
It will be California dreamin’ for Jared Cowen this week.
The Senators defenceman will be taking a breather, courtesy of a three-game suspension for interference handed down by the NHL Monday in response to his hit on Florida’s Jussi Jokinen.
Cowen will only be able to watch as his Ottawa teammates play in Anaheim on Wednesday, Los Angeles the next night and San Jose on Saturday.
“I’m disappointed. Three games is a bit much,” the 24-year-old Cowen, who had a telephone hearing with the NHL’s department of player safety Monday morning, told the Ottawa Sun. “I’m trying to be a physical player out there and do my job. If I don’t do that I’m not in the lineup.
“To do that, you’ve got to play on the edge.
"That's what I was doing. I didn't hurt anyone and I didn't mean to hurt anyone. It's a bit over the top but there's nothing I can do about it."
Cowen was penalized two minutes for interference early in the second period of Saturday’s 4-1 win over Florida.
There are some people who believe the Sasktoon native caught Jokinen late and made contact with his head. Jokinen stayed in the game.
Cowen wasn’t helped by the fact he is a repeat offender. In December 2013, the Senators blue-liner was suspended two games for making contact with the head of Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons.
He said that suspension may have come back to haunt him.
"Different season. I don't think it should be related but that's how they deal with it," he said. "There's nothing I can do about it. They have their way of going about things and that's just the way it is."
Cowen is eligible to return March 3 when the Senators visit the Minnesota Wild. He will forfeit $113,414.64 US in salary.
Cowen has nine points in 49 games this season, but also a team-worst minus-13 rating. Last season, the Saskatoon native amassed 15 points in 68 contests with an even rating.
Ottawa is 24-23-10 this season for 58 points, nine points behind Boston for the second wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.
See below for an explanation on how the NHL's department of player safety came to its decision on Cowen.
With files from The Canadian Press