NHL Suspends Vancouver Canucks Zack Kassian and Dale Weise

The NHL suspended Vancouver Canucks Zack Kassian and Dale Weise on Monday for separate incidents which both involve hits to the opponent's head.

Sep 23 2013, 10:40pm CDT | by

NHL Suspends Vancouver Canucks Zack Kassian and Dale Weise
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The NHL suspended Vancouver Canucks Zack Kassian and Dale Weise on Monday. 

Kassian, a forward, will sit out the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season "for his high stick that broke the jaw of Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner," per Mike Brehm of USA Today Sports. 

The high stick occurred at 18:33 of the second period of Edmonton's 5-2 preseason victory on September 21. 

According to Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun, was asked to appear in an in-person hearing which allows the league to suspend the concerned player for more than five games. Kassian waived his right to attend the hearing. 

He didn't go into specifics.

"I'm not going to get into the details. It's over and done with. Obviously both sides have their opinions and that's the way every incident works. All I can do now is wait and see what happens and respect the league's decision. It was definitely accidental. 

"I could sit here all day and plead my case. Like I said, it was accidental. In the game of hockey, things happen at a fast speed.

"I hope Sam Gagner has a full recovery. Obviously you never want to see someone get injured and have to miss games but it was a hockey play."

NHL chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan acknowledges there was no intent on the Vancouver forward's part, but he has to accept the consequence for swinging his stick.

"As he nears the boards, Kassian comes to a spinning stop, recklessly swinging his stick and striking Gagner in the face.

"It's also important to note that Kassian begins the act of swinging his stick before he crahses into the boards."  

Kassian will lose an estimated $22,500 in salary because of his supsension. 

As for Weise, he was ordered suspended for the rest of the NHL preseason for hitting the head of Gagner's teammate, Taylor Hall, in the first period of the same game. Weise was flagged with a minor penalty for the hit. 

Shanahan explains why Weise was also reprimanded by the league. 

"As Hall comes out of the corner with the puck Weise comes down and delivers a shoulder check directly to the head of Hall. Weise does not hit Hall squarely through the body and the head is the main point of contact." 

Brehm points out the suspensions are the first for both players. 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.


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