Flyers forward Daniel Briere has been handed a three-game suspension for cross-checking Frans Nielsen during a game against the Islanders on Saturday night.
The league assessed the ban on Monday morning after a conference call hearing with Briere.
"I'm shocked," he said Monday night. "I think surprised is not strong enough. After all the suspensions that have been handed out the last couple of years and this year, I didn't think I was going to get a game. Then I thought, 'OK yes, I am a repeat offender, they'll probably give me a game because of it.' I'm shocked that it was more than a game."
With one minute left to play and the Flyers leading 6-1, Briere cross-checked Nielsen after taking a face-off deep in the New York zone. Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro went after Briere as the Flyers centre skated by the net before Daniel Carcillo stepped in to defend Briere.
"After what he said on the faceoff, all I was thinking was I got to protect myself after what happened to [Andrej] Meszaros (and) what happened with Trevor Gilles on [Braydon] Coburn. I said, 'I got to protect myself', and if you see the faceoff before, he gets me in a headlock and punches me behind the head.
"What I'm disappointed in is the fact they tried to spin it as a cross-check to the head," Briere continued. "If you look at the replay, it's clearly not a crosscheck. A crosscheck is two hands moving forward. It's a push with one hand. The mistake I made was that my stick was up there. Is it worth three games for that? I don't think so. On top of it, I missed him, I didn't even get him."
Saturday's contest was a nasty affair, the two teams combined for 120 penalty minutes, with 73 of those going to the Islanders.
This is the third suspension of Briere's career. He was assessed a two-game ban in Nov. 2009 for an illegal hit, and two games in Mar. 2006 for a high-sticking incident.