Carolina Hurricanes forward Kevin Westgarth has been suspended two games by the NHL for his hit Sunday on defenseman Mark Borowiecki of the Ottawa Senators.
Westgarth had a hearing Tuesday morning with Brendan Shanaham of the NHL Player Safety Department. The suspension was announced Tuesday afternoon.
Borowiecki was helped off the ice after the first-period hit and did not return to the game. He was not seriously injured. Westgarth was given a two-minute minor penalty for boarding.
I feel bad that he got hurt, Westgarth said Tuesday. Thats not part of my game. I take pride in playing with respect for the other guy.
After I watched the video I thought it looked more violent. I was trying to get out of the way, but it made it look like I was trying to pile him into the boards. I hope everybody can understand that was definitely not my intention. Im glad hes OK.
Shanahan, in explaining the suspension, said Westgarth recklessly finishes him into the boards from behind but noted Westgarth did not hit him with all of his force. He also noted Westgarth had never been suspended or fined before in his 129-game NHL career.
General manager Jim Rutherford was hopeful after the hearing that Westgarth would not be fined or suspended.
Kevin plays the game hard, but there was no intent to injure, Rutherford said. This was his first hearing, his first offense.
Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Westgarth forfeits $7,435.90 of his salary, which goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.