NEW YORK, N.Y. - Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference was given a three-game suspension by the National Hockey League on Monday for delivering an illegal check to the head of an opponent.

Ference was given a minor penalty for his second-period hit on Vancouver's Zack Kassian in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Canucks. The 35-year-old blue-liner drove his shoulder up into Kassian's head after the Canucks forward made a pass in the Oilers zone.

Ference is a repeat offender and will forfeit US$118,902.45 in salary.

He has been suspended on two other occasions and fined once over his 15-season career.

Ference will be eligible to return for Sunday's road game against the New York Rangers.