The National Hockey League, namely disciplinarian Colin Campbell, has suspended Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin two games for his hit on Brian Campbell (no relation), according to Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post. Ovechkin will miss a game against Florida on on Tuesday evening and one against Carolina on Thursday evening.
He'll lose $234,645.60 of salary. Yikes.
As Yahoo! Sports' Sean Leahy pointed out on Sunday, the suspension was not an automatic one due to the circumstances. League rules call for a player to be automatically suspended two games when they've been given two game misconducts for boarding in one season. Ovechkin's game misconduct for the Campbell hit was his second of the year, the other coming in November for a hit placed on Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta.
Due to a loophole, however, those two suspensions have to be no more than 41 games apart from each other. The game on Sunday was the 42nd game since the Kaleta hit. How timely.
The Campbell hit is at least the third example of reckless play by Ovechkin this year, though, following the Kaleta incident and a knee-on-knee hit on Tim Gleason that also got him suspended. Apparently, the league now believes Ovechkin is a repeat offender, and under Rule 42 for Boarding or Rule 44 for Checking From Behind, they are allowed to suspend a player using their judgment. That's exactly what happened today.