NHL suspends Canadiens' Kostopoulos for hit on Van Ryn Staff

11/10/2008 7:08:25 PM

The NHL has suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos three games on Monday for a hit on Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn on Saturday night.

Kostopoulos knocked Van Ryn into the boards from behind in the first period of the Toronto's 6-3 win. Kostopoulos was given a major penalty for boarding and ejected from the game.

'' First and foremost, I sincerely regret the injuries suffered by Mike Van Ryn,'' Kostopoulos said in a statement. ''This is an unfortunate turn of events. I was just trying to get in on the forecheck and get the puck. I didn't anticipate him turning and couldn't stop. I was trying to finish my check and obviously it did not end up well. I never intend on injuring another player. I feel bad. I hope he is going to be all right and resume playing as quickly as possible.''

Van Ryn suffered a concussion, a broken nose, a broken bone in his hand and a cut to his forehead. He is expected to miss a month.

The 29-year-old Kostopoulos has only had one previous suspension. He was suspended for one game in November of 2007 for going after Boston Bruins' Mark Stuart late in a fight-filled contest in Montreal.

Kostopoulos will forfeit almost US$33,000 in salary and will miss games against Ottawa, Boston and Philadelphia.