Carolina tough guy Kevin Westgarth has been suspended two games for boarding Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki during Sunday’s 4-1 win, the league announced on Tuesday.
“Westgarth turns in the direction of Borowiecki, closes on him, and recklessly finishes him from behind into the boards,” explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan. “At no point, from the moment Westgarth changes direction, is Borowiecki ever eligible to be checked.”
Westgarth received a boarding minor on the hit, one that forced Borowiecki from the contest for good (his injury has since been classified as a strained neck.)
Following the game, Sens coach Paul MacLean called the hit a “disrespectful play,” adding that Westgarth “should feel shame.”
Westgarth, who had a telephone hearing with the NHL this morning, has no history of supplemental discipline from the league, having never been fined nor suspended during his five-year, 129-game career.
“I hope everybody can understand that was definitely not my intention,” Westgarth said in explaining his actions, as per the Raleigh News & Observer. “I’m glad [Borowiecki’s] OK.”
Westgarth will miss Carolina’s next two games — a home-and-home set against the Devils — eligible to return on Sunday, Dec. 1 against the Canucks in Vancouver.
He’ll also forfeit $7,435.90 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.