Ben Eager suspended 4 games

The NHL has suspended forward Ben Eager of the Atlanta Thrashers four games for his sucker punch to Toronto Maple Leafs winger Colby Armstrong.

The incident occurred Friday night in the Maple Leafs' 9-3 win in Atlanta.
Eager received a match penalty on the play.

He will forfeit $20,752.68 in salary, which will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Eager's overall performance had a huge, detrimental effect on the Thrashers' game plan. His four penalty minutes late in the first period for roughing and cross-checking led to a power-play goal by Mikhail Grabovski, giving the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead.

Late in the second period, Eager's sucker punch to Armstrong -- a former Thrashers forward -- led to power-play goals by Nikolai Kulemin, two by Clarke MacArthur, and another by Phil Kessel.

Eager is eligible to return Jan. 20 against Tampa Bay.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.