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Zack Kassian suspended five regular-season games for hit on Sam Gagner

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Buyout Tracker | Trades | Transactions

Canucks forward Zack Kassian will miss the rest of the preseason and the first five games of the regular season, receiving a suspension on Monday from the Department of Player Safety.

Kassian was offered an in-person hearing after his missed check resulted in a high-sticking penalty when Kassian's stick violently swung and struck Oilers forward Sam Gagner in the face. Gagner suffered a broken jaw on the play and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.

Kassian claimed that the high-sticking penalty was unintentional after Gagner avoided the impending hit but as we have seen in the past, players will be held responsible for what happens with their sticks. Intent or not, it's the result that matters.

You can certainly draw the conclusion that there was somewhat of a suspension to injury here, too. The long punishment for a first-time offender in Kassian was certainly partially do to the serious injury to Gagner in this case.

Now Kassian will not only sit the first five games and forfeit $22,500 in salary.

Also, another Canucks forward received a suspension from the game. Dale Weise will have to sit out the remainder of the preseaosn as a result of his hit to Taylor Hall's head in the same game. It was a perfect example of the hit the league has been focused on removing for a couple of years now.

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