Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton has been handed a two-game suspension for boarding by the National Hockey League for his hit on Calgary Flames defenceman Derek Smith in Wednesday's game from the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Late in the second period of the contest, Ashton drove Smith head-first into the boards from behind. Ashton was assessed a two-minute penalty on the play and then a further five minutes for fighting after engaging with Flames defenceman Shane O'Brien.
Smith left the ice on his own and did not return until the third period.
The hit caused a "dangerous and violent collision with the boards," NHL senior VP of player safety Brendan Shanahan said. "This is an extremely dangerous distance from the boards for such a forceful and preventable hit and the results could have been much worse."
The 22-year-old Ashton has one assist and 12 penalty minutes through 10 games this season. The Winnipeg native was aquired by the Maple Leafs on Feb. 27, 2012 in a trade with the Lightning that saw defenceman Keith Aulie sent to Tampa Bay.