DETROIT — Late Sunday night the NHL suspended St. Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole three games for his illegal hit to the head of Justin Abdelkader in the first period of the Wings’ 3-0 win on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.
Abdelkader was taken to the quiet room after the play, which occurred midway through the first period, and returned at the start of the second period and scored a goal.
“I just stepped up,” Cole said after the game. “I think he saw me coming at the last second and tried to cut back inside real quick. I had him lined up. I wasnt going to go high, I wasn’t going to go for the head. I was just going right for his shoulder. He tried to cut back and avoid and he put his head right into my shoulder.”
Cole, who will lose $21,081.18 in pay, is the second player to be suspended this year for a hit on Abdelkader.
Toronto’s Clarke MacArthur got two games for a hit to Abdelkader’s head in the preseason.