Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton has been suspended two games for boarding Calgary’s Derek Smith on Wednesday, the NHL announced.
“Ashton takes a couple of strides and forcefully shoves [Smith] in the numbers, causing Smith to crash violently into the boards,” explained NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan. “Although Smith is turning while receiving the pass, at no point during this play does Ashton see anything other than Smith’s back.
“The onus, therefore, is entirely upon Ashton to either avoid contact or, at the very least, minimize it.”
Shanahan also said Ashton hit Smith from an “extremely dangerous” distance from the boards.
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As per the NHL CBA, Ashton will forfeit $8,615.38 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance fund. He’ll miss Toronto’s next two contests — Saturday in Vancouver, next Friday at home vs. New Jersey — and will be eligible to return on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Boston.