Ference suspended three games for ‘unnecessarily’ elevating on Kassian hit

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Edmonton captain Andrew Ference has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of Vancouver’s Zack Kassian on Saturday night, the NHL has announced.

“Ference takes a proper angle on this play, and squares up Kassian for a legal, full-body check,” the NHL department of player safety explained. “However, by driving up instead of straight through Kassian, Ference unnecessarily elevates, making Kassian’s head the main point of contact.”

Here’s the video:

Ference was given a minor penalty on the play, which occurred late in the second period. Kassian didn’t miss any time and returned to the contest, finishing with 13:55 TOI.

The department of player safety also notes that Ference’s a history as a repeat offender — fined twice, suspended once — played a role in this latest punishment.

As such, the Oilers captain will miss the club’s next three games — in Philadelphia, Boston and Buffalo — eligible for return on Sunday, Nov. 9 against the Rangers. Ference will also forfeit $118,902.45 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.