The Maple Leafs defenseman will be out for Toronto's remaining
six regular-season games and the club's first two postseason games.
Belak slashed Vaananen on Saturday night and was given a match
penalty for attempt to injure. He met with Colin Campbell at the
league's office in Toronto on Monday before the NHL disciplinarian
handed down his decision.
"It was a little severe I think," Belak said. "I wasn't
expecting to walk away with less than three [games], but I thought
no more than five. Getting six plus two, it's kind of harsh."
The suspension will cost Belak $67,682.94 in forfeited salary.
"Mr. Belak used his stick in a careless, dangerous and
unacceptable manner," Campbell said in a statement. "Players must
be responsible for their sticks at all times, and blows with the
stick to the head area will not be tolerated."
Six-foot-5, 221-pound Belak has one goal, one assist and 109
penalty minutes in 34 games this season, his fourth with the Leafs.
A career enforcer, he has seven goals, 15 assists and 811 penalty
minutes in 275 career NHL games.
Moore also suffered a concussion and deep lacerations when
Bertuzzi hit him from behind and drove him into the ice during a
March 8 game in Vancouver. Bertuzzi was suspended for the rest of
the regular season and the playoffs, at least.
"I think the timing of it never gave me a fair chance," Belak said. "Being in Toronto playing in a Saturday night game in front
of all the media, I didn't have a chance. They pretty much made up
their mind about what was going to happen to me that night.
"I was off-balance. We need to be responsible for our sticks, I
understand that part, but in no way was I trying to hurt him.
Comparing me to Bertuzzi is kind of unfair."