EDMONTON, CANADA - NOVEMBER 30: Andy Sutton #25 of the Edmonton Oilers hits Matt Cullen #7 of the Minnesota Wild into the boards at Rexall Place on November 30, 2011 in Edmonton, Canada. The Wild defeated the Oilers 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Andy Sutton Suspended Eight Games For Hit On Alexei Ponikarovsky

After initially sitting him down indefinitely, the NHL has handed down a harsh penalty to Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton. He'll miss eight games with a suspension.

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NHL Suspends Andy Sutton For Eight Games

Brendan Shanahan took a few days to mull it over, and after careful consideration, he's decided to bring the hammer down on Andy Sutton. The Edmonton Oilers defenseman has been suspended eight games for his hit on Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.

As always, Shanahan explained with a video breakdown.

It's the longest regular season suspension this season, matching the eight game ban handed to James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets in late September. Why such a long ban?

Well, it's all about Sutton's lengthy suspension history. That's not to say this wasn't a bad hit or anything, but on it's own, it's not the worst hit we've ever seen -- or even the worst hit we've seen this season. It's still suspendable in either case, as he clearly launched his entire body into Ponikarovsky's head, but it's typically not worth an eight game ban.

The fact that it was Sutton on the delivering end, however, completely changes things.

Shanahan noted that he's been suspended or fined seven times in his NHL career, and the end of the video above is basically a laundry list of dirty hits Sutton has handed out over his 13 seasons in the league. Repeat offender? Have a seat. For a while.

Sutton will forfeit over $200,000 and will be eligible to return to the lineup on New Year's Eve.

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NHL Suspends Andy Sutton Indefinitely, Pending Hearing

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton has been suspended indefinitely for a hit on Carolina Hurricanes' player Alexei Ponikarovsky during the third period of Wednesday's game.

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