Brad Stuart returned to the NHL for one game. Now he will miss the next three.
The NHL handed the San Jose Sharks defenseman a three-game suspension for a hit to the head of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash during Tuesday night's game in San Jose, Calif.
The punishment was announced Wednesday by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
Stuart received a minor penalty for elbowing at 2:23 of the first period. Replays appeared to show Stuart's shoulder hitting Nash's head.
Nash played several more shifts after the hit but then left the game and didn't return for the second period of the Rangers' 9-2 loss to the Sharks.
"I have a headache," he said. "It got worse. It was a head shot. I'm concerned the way it feels."
Nash has a history of concussions, but there was no immediate word on his condition and whether he might be sidelined.
The incident occurred in Stuart's season debut. The 33-year-old veteran missed the first two games with a lower-body injury that kept him out of all seven preseason games as well.
According to the NHL, the suspension will cost Stuart $55,384.62, with the amount earmarked for the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Stuart is due to road games against the Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues sandwiching a home game against the Ottawa Senators. He will be eligible to play Oct. 17 when the Sharks play the Stars in Dallas.