Chicago Blackhawks left wing Daniel Carcillo, left, boards Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert, receiving a game misconduct penalty, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks will be without Dan Carcillo for an extended period of time.
The NHL suspended the Blackhawks forward seven games Wednesday for his ugly hit on Edmonton Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert.
Carcillo launched Gilbert into the boards 7:23 into the second period of the Oilers' 4-3 victory Monday night. The play resulted in a major boarding penalty and a game misconduct.
Gilbert left with a lower-body injury and did not play in Edmonton's 4-3 loss to Buffalo on Tuesday.
In citing a clear violation of the boarding rule, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said the onus is on a player to minimize contact with an opponent in a vulnerable position.
"Not only does Carcillo not minimize contact, he hits Gilbert into the boards with tremendous force," Shanahan said in a video posted on NHL.com. "This is not a case of two players bumping each other for position and one player winning that battle. Nor is it a play in which Gilbert loses balance after initiating a reverse hit.
"At an extremely dangerous distance from the boards, Carcillo finishes high and hard with his hands, using the boards as a weapon."
Carcillo, who was suspended two games earlier this season for a similar incident, is classified as a repeat offender under the terms of the league's CBA.
He will forfeit US$66,158.54 in salary, which goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Carcillo, who has been previously fined or suspended nine times in his career, will be eligible to return Jan. 18 when the Blackhawks host Buffalo.
He has two goals and nine assists in 28 games in his first season with Chicago.
Gilbert has three goals and 12 assists in 38 games with Edmonton.