New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Pock was given a five-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Ottawa Senators' winger Ryan Shannon Thursday night.
''We understand the League's position in respect to cracking down on hits to the head and we agree with their objectives,'' Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. ''It was an unfortunate incident and we hope Ryan can return to the ice quickly.''
Pock received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for the incident.
''I understand why there is a need for the League to enforce a strict policy to hits to the head,'' Pock said in a statement. ''I have reached out to Ryan to apologize and I hope he makes a quick recovery.''
After the game, Senators' head coach Craig Hartsburg made his case for a suspension, using Jarkko Ruutu's current situation as an example.
"(Ruutu) got two minutes for what was basically a shoulder," Hartsburg told The Canadian Press after the game. "I'm not sure how many games that's going to be worth."
Pock apologized for the incident after the game, saying he would like to make amends with Shannon with a phone call. The two know each other from their U.S. college days and chatted before the game.
"I didn't mean to hit him like that," Pock told The Canadian Press. "I've got to give him a call later. It was a bad play. That's all I can say about it. I hope he's all right."