Two-game elbowing suspension for Suter, who had ‘no reason’ to hit Downie

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Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter has been suspended two games for elbowing Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie on Tuesday night, the NHL has announced.

“Having poked the puck away from Downie and to a Minnesota teammate, Suter has already broken up the play when he delivers this blow,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “He therefore has no reason to initiate any body contact with Downie, who no longer possesses the puck.”

The incident occurred early in the second period of the Penguins’ 7-2 victory. Full video explanation here:

The league notes that while Downie left the game and didn’t return, he did not suffer an injury on the play; it also mentions that Suter has no previous disciplinary issues prior to this punishment.

As a result of this suspension, Suter will now miss Minnesota’s next two games — Thursday at Buffalo, Saturday at Xcel versus Arizona — and forfeit $81,058.72 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.