NEW YORK, N.Y. - New York Rangers forward Andre Deveaux was suspended three games on Friday for his shot to the head of Florida Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann.
The illegal check came in the second period of Florida's 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday.
Deveaux raised his left elbow and extended his left leg in an effort to slow Fleischmann's move past him at centre ice. Deveaux's elbow connected with Fleischmann's face, dropping the Panthers forward to the ice.
"Despite the fact that Deveaux conceded this was a dangerous reflex and instinct, when we looked at all the evidence surrounding the play, we agreed with his assertion that there was no malicious intent," said NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in explaining the decision. "Regardless, the head was the principal point of contact and the reckless targeting was evident due to the fact that Deveaux had to extend considerably to make such contact."
Fleischmann was injured on the play and taken to the dressing room but returned later in the second period. Deveaux was ejected from the game for an illegal check to the head that caused injury.
Deveaux will forfeit US$8,513.52 in salary. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.