Montreal defenseman Douglas Murray has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of Tampa Bay’s Mike Kostka, the NHL announced on Thursday.
“Murray rises up and delivers a forceful blow to Kostka’s head, making it the main point of contact and causing a serious injury,” the league’s Department of Player Safety explained. “While we accept Murray’s claim that there was no malicious intent on this hit, he is not successful in making a full bodycheck.”
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Kostka suffered a concussion on the play, and the player safety department noted that Murray had no history as a repeat offender prior to this hit.
Murray will now miss Montreal’s next three games — against Ottawa, Detroit and Chicago — and will forfeit $23,076.93 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.