Letang suspended

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Kris Letang was suspended for two games without pay Tuesday by the NHL for his illegal hit on Winnipeg Jets forward Alex Burmistrov. Letang drove Burmistrov into the boards from behind 13:08 into the third period of Winnipeg’s 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Monday.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Kris Letang was suspended for two games without pay Tuesday by the NHL for his illegal hit on Winnipeg Jets forward Alex Burmistrov. Letang drove Burmistrov into the boards from behind 13:08 into the third period of Winnipeg’s 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Monday. Burmistrov had turned his back to Letang as he went to play the puck near the blue-line. “In our opinion, Burmistrov’s path to the puck is predictable and there are no sudden movements just prior or simultaneous with the hit,” said Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s director of player safety, in a video posted to the league’s website. “Despite the fact that Letang is looking at Burmistrov in the numbers, he finishes his check hard and with authority and fails to minimize the check.” Letang was assessed a minor penalty for boarding on the play. “We’ve also taken into consideration that Letang was fined in April of 2011 for a similar hit,” said Shanahan. Letang will miss the Penguins’ games at Minnesota on Tuesday and Thursday against Montreal. He will be eligible to return Saturday, Oct. 22, at home to New Jersey. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Letang will forfeit US$37,837.84. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.