Elbow to head of Jamie Benn earns Shane Doan 3-game suspension

There was no doubt about whether or not Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan was going to be suspended for his elbow to the head of Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. He'd previously been suspended three games in Oct. 2010 for a hit to the head on Dan Sexton of the Anaheim Ducks and just last Friday was fined $2,500 for boarding. The only question was how long Doan would sit.

The NHL and its Department of Player safety answered that question on Wednesday night as it was announced Doan was suspended three games.

Here's Brendan Shanahan's explanation:

From the NHL:

Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan has been suspended for three games and will forfeit $166,463.40 for elbowing Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn during NHL Game #1094 in Dallas on Tuesday, March 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

Doan, who received a three-game suspension in October 2010, is classified as a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, he forfeits his salary based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (185). The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

The incident occurred at 5:54 of the second period. Doan was assessed a minor penalty for elbowing on the play.

The Coyotes have eight games left in the regular season and are in a dogfight with four other teams for one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. Losing their captain and third-leading scorer, among other bodies, throws an obstacle in their pursuit for another postseason berth.

Benn practiced with the Stars on Wednesday and said afterward he felt "fine".

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy