<
>

Marchand suspended five games for hit

BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended for five games by the NHL for his illegal hit that led to a concussion to the Vancouver Canucks' Sami Salo during Boston's 4-3 loss on Saturday at TD Garden.

Brendan Shanahan, the league’s vice president of player safety and hockey operations, held a disciplinary hearing via a conference call at 12:30 Monday afternoon.

Marchand was assessed a five-minute major and given a game misconduct for clipping Salo at 18:47 of the second period during Saturday’s loss.

The league announced its decision shortly after 6:30 p.m.

“As the video shows, Marchand skates toward Salo along the boards,” Shanahan said in a video posted on the league's website. “Rather than deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check, Marchand drops down dangerously low into Salo’s knee area, propelling Salo up and over, causing an injury.”

Shanahan said the hit was a violation of Rule 44 that reads: “Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent. A player may not deliver a check in a clipping manner nor lower his body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees.”

Shanahan added: “While we understand that in certain circumstances, a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to protect himself from an imminent dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive. Rather, we feel that this was a predatory, low hit delivered intentionally by Marchand in order to flip his opponent over him.

“Further, Salo is not coming at him at great speed, nor in a threatening posture. He does nothing to indicate that Marchand is about to be hit illegally or with excessive force. To be clear, we do not consider this to be a defensive act where there were no other options available to Marchand.”

For more on Marchand's suspension, click here.