Byers suspended three games for illegal hit

January 17, 2012, 1:20 am
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The NHL has suspended Columbus Blue Jackets forward Dane Byers for three games for his illegal hit to the head of the Sharks Andrew Desjardins on Saturday.

Desjardins, who was visibly shaken up on the play, left the game and was scratched on Sunday in Chicago.

In his video explanation of the suspension, Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan said:

"Byers is in position to make a full body check in which Desjardins' shoulder or chest will be the principal point of contact. However, Byers rises up and finishes high upon impact, driving his left shoulder up and into Desjardins' head.

The hit was a violation of rule 48.1, which states: "A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head, where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact, is not permitted."

Shanahan said the league took into account Desjardins injury, as well as a previous suspension to Byers for one game for starting a fight with less than five minutes in regulation.

To see Desjardins get hit like that, thats exactly what we want to eliminate from the game. Exactly, Todd McLellan said immediately following Saturdays game. An opportunity to play the puck or play the man without taking the head, and unfortunately Desjardins has got to fight his way out of it now, and we all hope hell be okay.

As of Sunday afternoon, Desjardins still had to pass a baseline concussion test in order to return.

Based on his annual salary, Byers will forfeit 8,918.91.