Burrows suspended three games for ‘late hit to the head’ on Emelin

17 Comments

Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows has received a three-game suspension for his high and late hit on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin during Thursday’s game.

The National Hockey League’s department of player safety made the announcement Friday afternoon, calling the incident a “late hit to the head” in a video outlining the suspension.

According to the NHL, Burrows will forfeit $72,580.65 in salary, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

“Emelin makes a pass up the ice as Burrows approaches from his right. Nearly one full second after Emelin releases the puck – well after the acceptable time to finish a check, Burrows elevates up and  into Emelin with his left shoulder, making Emelin’s head the main point of contact,” it was stated in the video.

Burrows, who had never been suspended prior to today, received a phone hearing earlier in the day for the hit.

Burrows said after the game that he was just trying to finish his check, and he didn’t believe the hit was late. Emelin left the game temporarily, but returned for the third period.

However, Habs coach Michel Therrien had a different take on the hit.

“That was a dirty hit to the head. This is something we’re trying to eliminate from our game,” he said, as per Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette.

“(Emelin) went to the dark room, passed all his tests, doctor said he was fine to go. I’m glad Emelin is fine,” the coach added.

The Canucks finished the month of October with a 7-3 record, and will begin November on the road against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. They return to Vancouver to host the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

Burrows, 33, has two goals and six points in 10 games.

His absence from Vancouver’s second line means head coach Willie Desjardins will have to shuffle the lines somewhat for the near future.

This means tough guy Tom Sestito, who has yet to play a game this season, appears set to get into the lineup on Vancouver’s fourth line.