The Detroit Red Wings will have to live without center Sergei Fedorov for the next five games.
Fedorov was suspended Wednesday by the NHL five games, without pay, for slashing New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara on Saturday. He forfeits $386,178.85 of his salary.
With six minutes left in the game, Fedorov struck Chara in the neck with his stick, drawing a match penalty for deliberate injury and sending the 6-9, 255-pound Slovakian crumbling to the ice. Chara was unable to get up for several minutes thereafter.
"While Mr. Fedorov acknowledges and regrets the severity of his action, the league has made clear this season there is no acceptable explanation for administering blows to the head," said NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell. "This suspension also reaffirms the League's position that every player is accountable for his stick and that reckless, dangerous use of the stick will be met with severe consequences."
Fedorov will be out of the lineup until Detroit's game against Phoenix on March 17. In the meantime, he will miss Friday night's game at Phoenix in addition to games at Anaheim on March 7, at Los Angeles on March 9, at San Jose on March 12 and at Colorado on March 14.
This is the 1994 Hart Trophy winner's second suspension within 18 months. He was suspended a pair of games on March 26, 1998 for hitting Anaheim's Jason Marshall from behind.
That subjects him to the stiffer salary penalty the NHL employs for repeat offenders. First-time offenders forfeit salary based on the 192-day season, while repeat offenders yield their earnings based on an 82-game scale.
As a result, Fedorov will give the nearly $400,000 to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. He donated $2 million -- the amount of his 1998-99 salary -- to launch a charitable foundation last month.
A dynamic two-way player, Fedorov is not enjoying a standout offensive season. In 62 games he ranked fourth on the team with 44 points. He has 18 goals and 26 assists for the Central Division leaders and two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.
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