ESPN's Pierre LeBrun Tweeted yesterday that Tom Kostopoulos(notes) of the Calgary Flames waived his right to an in-person hearing after his brutal hit on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart(notes) last night, saying he expected at least a five-game suspension.
LeBrun was right and the NHL announced this afternoon that Kostopoulos has been suspended for six games and will forfeit $29,569.92 in salary for his blow to the head of Stuart.
Via the NHL, here's Colin Campbell explaining his decision:
"A number of factors were considered in reaching this decision," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "Kostopoulos delivered a blow to the head of an unsuspecting and vulnerable player. As well, he targeted the head of his opponent and, while the hit was not from the blindside, the head was the principle point of contact. The fact that Brad Stuart was not in possession of the puck when the blow was delivered and the serious nature of the player's injury were also considered in my decision."
Because Kostopoulos was last suspended over 18 months ago (Nov. 2008) for a hit from behind on Mike Van Ryn(notes) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was no longer considered a "repeat" offender in the eyes of the NHL.
Here's the hit that drew the six-game ban: