The NHL on Saturday suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane three games for elbowing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk in the head.
The incident occurred with seven minutes left in the third period of the Sharks' 3-2 win in Winnipeg on Friday night. Pionk had his back to Kane and was playing the puck in the corner.
Kane was assessed a two-minute elbowing minor and Pionk, who was slow to get up, remained in the game.
"Kane does not keep his arm close to his chest to deliver a full body hit, but instead raises his arm up and away from his core and directly into Pionk's head," the NHL Department of Player Safety said in a video explaining the suspension.
"It is also important to note Kane is in control of this hit at all times ... what causes this hit to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the dangerous extension of the elbow upward and outward, combined with the force of the hit."
The is the fourth suspension of Kane's 703-game career and the second of the season. He was suspended for three games in October for the physical abuse of an official.
Kane, 28, has 21 goals and 16 assists in 54 games and leads the NHL with 110 penalty minutes this season.
He criticized the decision to suspend him with a statement on Twitter.
"A completely flawed system in so many ways," he wrote. "From the suspensions to the appeals rights, it's baffling to me how we as players agreed to this. You can't continue to give some players a pass and throw the book at others. ... None of it makes any sense."
The suspension will cost Kane nearly $113,000 in salary.
--Field Level Media