The NHL has announced that it will suspend New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov for four games after elbowing the Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand in the head in the second period of the Bruins win over the Devils.
Volchenkov led with his elbow when he hit Marchand in the head. For his actions, Volchenkov was given a five minute major and a ten minute game misconduct. Marchand would not return to the game and no timetable has been given for his return.
The Bruins did not give an update on Marchand's condition as of this morning. If Marchand misses any time, and he is expected to do so, the Bruins would be without the services of both Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, who is suffering from a concussion, during a crucial point in the Bruins season.
NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan explained the reasoning for suspending Volchenkov for four games,
"Although Marchand stands 5-9 and is stopping and turning his head away from Volchenkov to avoid the full force of the impending check, that doesn't contribute to or explain the reckless contact to the head on what could have been a legal collision,"
Volchenkov has been suspended in the past, which Shanahan put into consideration when ruling on his punishment. Volchenkov was suspended for three games in 2011 when he elbowed Zach Boychuk in the head. Volchenkov's suspension for the Boychuk hit was too long ago for the league to consider him a "repeat offender".
Volchenkov will have to forfeit almost $92,000 worth of pay as he sits out the next four games for the struggling Devils. New Jersey's loss last night to the Bruins was their eighth straight loss and are spiraling out of control.