It was pretty evident that John Erskine's elbow to the Wayne Simmonds during last night's 3-2 Washington Capitals win over the Philadelphia Flyers was going to earn him a suspension. It was reckless and somehow went uncalled. Simmonds would leave the game and not return.
On Saturday, Erskine had a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan and was given a 3-game suspension.A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
According to the NHL, Erskine will lose $24,324.33 in salary over the three games.
After the game, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said Simmonds had a head injury and "probably a little bit of a whiplash going on right now". Philadelphia hosts the Carolina Hurricanes tonight and Simmonds is not in the lineup.
UPDATE: Holmgren confirmed during the game that Simmonds suffered a concussion and there is no timetable for a return.
For a first time offender who doesn't have a discipline history with the NHL, three games is fair. Erskine's not a dirty player and under Shanahan, one of the goals of the Department of Player Safety is to try and change player behavior on the ice. Erskine reacts to potentially letting Simmonds get by him and he uses whatever means necessary to slow him down. Next time that situation occurs, the hope is that he keeps his elbows down and away from the head.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy