On Wednesday, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart has been suspended without pay for three games.
The ban comes after Stuart gave New York Ranger star winger Rick Nash a high hit just 2:32 into Tuesday night's Rangers-Sharks contest in San Jose. Stuart was given a minor penalty for elbowing. Nash finished the first period, but did not return to game when the second period started. After the game, Nash told reporters that he had a headache. "Any time you get a head shot, you're concerned. It's not a good feeling," says Nash.
Before the hearing, Stuart disagreed with any notion that it was a dirty hit. "I just stepped up and hit the guy. I've seen the replay. I didn't leave my feet, I didn't target the head. So it depends on how they want to look at it, I guess. Apparently (Nash) has a concussion, so, we'll see."
In a video discussion on the ruling, Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan said for the most part the hit was legal except Stuart "unnecessarily extends the left side of his body upward, especially his left shoulder that makes Nash’s head the main point of contact and causing an injury.”
Shanahan considered Stuart's hit to be an illegal check to the head which resulted in injury, but since the Sharks blueliner does not have a history of suspensions for illegal hits, he was given only three games. Stuart will lose over $55,000 in salary.
Meanwhile, no official word has been given by the Rangers on whether Nash indeed has a concussion.