Ottawa Senators forward Jarkko Ruutu has been suspended two games without pay by the NHL.
The NHL had a disciplinary hearing for Ruutu on Wednesday morning. The incident in question occurred during the third period of Tuesday's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Ruutu delivered an elbow to the head of Maxim Lapierre.
"(We're) disappointed that it is two games, but obviously the NHL have set a very high standard for a hit like this, that I felt deflected off the shoulder to the head. Especially for a player with no history of suspensions, no history of even being called in front of the league. But we do have to abide by what is called. And obviously going forward we know now that this is the standard for anybody that gets hit in the head area," said general manager Bryan Murray in a release on Wednesday afternoon.
"Well obviously, it is what it is, and I have to live with it," said Ruutu in a release. "Like I said, I had no intention to do it, but accidents will happen and I'll have to deal with the consequences."
Canadiens' head coach Guy Carbonneau had a different opinion on the matter.
"I think it was a deliberate head shot," Carbonneau told the Canadian Press Wednesday after team practice. "We all know what kind of player (Ruutu) is, so I'll leave it at that."
"I don't know if the number of games should be influenced (by a player's reputation)," Carbonneau added. "But I definitely think if it's the kind of player where these things happen a lot, it should definitely enter into the equation."
Lapierre did not appear to suffer any injury on the play and Ruutu was assessed a two-minute minor for charging, but the infraction did violate at least two tenets of the NHL's policy on hits to the head. One, Ruutu appeared to target Lapierre's head and only made contact with the head. Two, the hit was delivered with an elbow.