IIHF hands Justin Abdelkader three-game suspension for hit during 2014 Worlds

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Justin Abdelkader had already been suspended one game for a knee-on-knee hit at the 2014 IIHF World Championships when he launched himself into Vladimir Sobotka’s head during the medal round. 

The U.S. forward was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the blow. The Czech Republic would end up scoring twice on the ensuing power play and knock out the Americans with a 4-3 victory.

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The decision on Abdelkader finally arrived on Tuesday when the IIHF’s Disciplinary Board met and announced that he would be suspended for the first three games of the 2015 tournament.

From the IIHF:

Abdelkader was originally assessed a major penalty and game misconduct penalty for charging. The panel is of the opinion that because of the potential for injury to the brain, checks to the head always must be considered a gross infringement of the playing rules that require additional sanctions, especially in the case at hand where the injured player was not able to return to the game. Considering the extreme unfairness of the action as well as the high risk of brain injuries connected with blows to the head and neck area, the Deciding Panel is of the opinion that a suspension of the player for three games is appropriate and adequate.

One thing to note here is that the suspension is soley for the 2015 World Championships. Should Abdelkader be unable to participate in the tournament next year for whatever reason the ban would not carry over into 2016.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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