New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League handed down a seven-game suspension to Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott on Thursday.
The long-awaited decision comes as a result of Scott's in-person hearing with the league's Department of Player Safety. As the hulking 31-year-old had already sat out three games awaiting the result of that meeting, the full punishment will be for 10 contests.
"After Eriksson has already dumped the puck on the forecheck, Scott cuts across Eriksson and delivers a shoulder to the head, making it the main point of contact and causing a serious injury," stated league vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan in a video explanation of his ruling.
"Although this is not an elbow to the head, the follow-through that occurs after contact indicates to us a significant level of force was delivered on this illegal check to the head. On this play, the onus is entirely on Scott to ensure that Eriksson's head is not the main point of contact on any hit he chooses to make."
Scott received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Boston's Loui Eriksson in the third period of a 5-2 Bruins victory on Oct. 23.
Eriksson was helped to the dressing room and did not return to the game. He remained hospitalized overnight in Buffalo for observation. The Bruins reported the following day that Eriksson suffered a concussion and will be out indefinitely.
Under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Scott will forfeit $26,923.05 in salary which goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
He will be eligible to return on Nov. 16, in the back half of a home-and-home set between the Sabres and Maple Leafs in Toronto.