Ovechkin suspended three games for Michalek hit

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NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan has suspended Washington captain Alex Ovechkin three games for this hit on Pittsburgh’s Zbynek Michalek during Sunday’s Capitals-Penguins game:

“The act of launching causes contact to Michalek’s head,” said Shanahan. “Often on big hits or collisions a player’s feet will come off the ice slightly as a result of the impact.

“This, however, is not one of those occasions.”

With all due respect to Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, JF Jacques, Tom Sestito and Andre Deveaux, Ovechkin is the first true “superstar” player to face supplementary discipline from Shanahan — though it’s not Ovi’s first time being called to the disciplinary carpet. He was dinged two games in Mar. 2010 for boarding Chicago’s Brian Campbell, a punishment levied by former NHL head of discipline Colin Campbell.

Earlier this year it was thought Ovechkin could’ve received suspension for spearing Ottawa’s Chris Neil, but Shanahan elected not to punish the offense.

Ovechkin will forfeit $154,677.75 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund and miss Washington’s game on Tuesday against Boston, Jan. 31 against Tampa Bay and Feb. 1 against Florida.