New York: Colorado Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson was suspended for two games by the National Hockey League on Tuesday for a slash that broke the left hand of New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen.
Danish centre Nielsen might miss at least a week of the NHL season once the league resumes after a two-week shutdown so its stars can play for their countries at the Winter Olympics presently taking place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Johnson, who will lose more than $38,000 (Dh139,577) in salary as a result of the suspension, slammed his stick across the glove of Nielsen with 7:51 remaining in the third period of Colorado’s 5-2 victory at New York last Saturday.
Johnson, an American whose ban begins when the season recommences, was issued a two-minute slashing penalty on the play.
Nielsen has 18 goals in a league-high 60 games for the Islanders, who have 22 wins and 52 points from 60 contests. The Avalanche, with 37 wins in 58 games, rank fifth in the Western Conference with 79 points.