The NHL announced today that Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopolous has been suspended three games without pay for his hit from behind on Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Van Ryn in the first period of Saturday's 6-3 Leafs win.
Kostopolous, who will forfeit $33,000 (all figures US), issued a statement shortly following the hearing.
''First and foremost, I sincerely regret the injuries suffered by Mike Van Ryn,'' Kostopoulos said in the statement. ''This is an unfortunate turn of events. I was just trying to get in on the fore-check and get the puck.
"I didn't anticipate him turning and couldn't stop. I was trying to finish my check and obviously it did not end up well. I never intend on injuring another player. I feel bad. I hope he is going to be all right and resume playing as quickly as possible.''
Kostopolous will miss games this week against Ottawa, Boston, and Philadelphia.
Van Ryn is expected to miss at least a month with several injuries. He will be sidelined with a concussion, a broken nose, a swollen eye, a cut on his forehead, and a broken hand. He also spent extensive time at the dental office today getting some repairs to his teeth.
Van Ryn will meet with a concussion specialist sometime this week. He will not accompany the Maple Leafs this week as they swing into Western Canada.