Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu has been handed a three-game suspension by the National Hockey League for his hit on Avalanche forward Darcy Tucker in Friday's 5-4 Colorado victory.
Tucker was slammed into the boards by Ruutu as he tried to play the puck in the Hurricanes' end in the second period of friday's action. Tucker's face hit the glass hard and he fell backwards to the ice. He was unconscious as Avalanche doctors and trainers attended to him.
Medical personnel applied a neck brace before strapping him to a backboard. Tucker appeared to regain consciousness as he was moved off the ice, revealing a pool of blood where he had been laying for more than five minutes.
Tucker was taken to the hospital for further treatment and evaluation. He needed 40 stitches in his forehead to close the cuts received after falling face first on ice and a CT scan didn't detect any damage. He spent the night in the hospital and is expected to be released today.
Tucker is concussed and preliminary indications are that he will be out of action for at least 10 days.
Ruutu was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for his action. He will forfeit $59,067.36 in salary and will be eligible to return Sunday, Nov. 1, against San Jose.