Thursday, February 25, 2010

NHL issues Janssen five-game suspension

Hit on Washington's Bradley to cost
Blues enforcer $14,000-plus in salary

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Cam Janssen's Olympic break will have an extension attached to the end of it.

The Blues' enforcer received word Thursday afternoon that the NHL has suspended Janssen five games for a hit delivered early in the first period of the Blues' 4-3 shootout win on Feb. 13 to Washington Capitals' Matt Bradley.

Janssen was assessed a five-minute major penalty for the hit, which occurred along the left boards near the corner of the Blues' zone.

A link to the play is listed here:

The decision, handed down by NHL vice president Colin Campbell, was postponed until Thursday because of the Winter Olympic break.

"I was surprised by the five," Janssen said. "We had a great hearing and everybody said what they had to say and they still gave me five games. It is what it is and I'm going to have to accept it. I respect Colin Campbell's decision and what he says, but it's not going to change my style whatsoever."

Blues President John Davidson said Thursday morning at St. Louis Mills prior to the decision being handed down that he expected some sort of punishment.

"I think Cam's gonna have an extended vacation," Davidson said. "... I respect what Cam does for a living. He plays hard, (but) he did hit the other player late; we have to admit that. So the league has to take care of it. Cam's an up-front guy, he's a stand-up guy. He battles for his teammates and we'll take whatever the league gives us and move forward."

Janssen will miss the first five games of the Blues' upcoming trip, which means he will miss games at Phoenix, Dallas, Colorado, N.Y. Islanders and Columbus. Janssen is eligible to return March 14 at Minnesota.

"The style that I play, I respect my opponent, but I have to have a physical edge," Janssen said. "I hit with force and sometimes that happens. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but you have to be intimidating.

"... I wasn't mad at Matt Bradley. It wasn't personal. He had his head down and I was doing my job."

Janssen will forfeit $14,428 based on his annual salary and the money will go to Players' Emergency Assistance Fund, based on the terms of the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Janssen was issued five games because he's a repeat offender.

"When you watch it in regular speed, you can see he had no idea I was coming," Janssen said. "But it shows in slow motion that it was a little late. I was committed to the hit, though, and I drove through him as hard as I could. But hey, they've got to do what they've got to do."

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