James Wisniewski signed a big contract this summer to play hockey for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Presumably, his first big spending spree will come in the form of a check to the NHL.
The former Montreal Canadiens defenseman was suspended for the remainder of the preseason and for eight regular-season games as well, the league has announced. Wisniewski is being suspended for his hit on Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck during a preseason game on Sept. 23.
The suspension will cost Wisniewski $536,585.36, after the defenseman signed a six-year, $33 million contract on July 1.
Wisniewski targeted Clutterbuck's head with his elbow in a hit that came after the conclusion of the third period in the two teams' game on Friday night.
NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan announced the punishment on Monday in a video statement that was posted on the league's website (which can be seen below). Shanahan admitted that in addition to hitting a defenseless player, Wisniewki's penalty comes also in part to his past history. Wisniewski is a repeat offender, as he has been suspended four times since March of 2008.
"Wisniewski intentionally targets Clutterbuck's head and makes it the principal point of contact," Shanahan said.
"Wisniewski's suspension history weighed heavily in my decision as well as the fact that he intentionally targeted a defenseless player when the play had ended," Shanahan later added.
See all of Shanahan's explanation, as well as video of the hit in the video below.
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