Last night during their 3-0 victory over the Anaheim , Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog went to apply a check to Ducks' defenseman Simon Depres and ended up cross-checking him in the head -- plain for all to see. The play caused no injury, but the NHL Player Safety Committee has ruled Landeskog will receive a three-game suspension and forfeit $203,832.73 in salary. The severity of the penalty is heavily influenced by an incident earlier this season against the Boston Bruins Brad Marchand, where Landeskog also received a three-game suspension for a dangerous high check.
Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog suspended three games for cross-checking Anaheim’s Simon Despres. Video: https://t.co/foKZApNiyM— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 10, 2016
The suspension comes at a terrible time for the Avalanche, as they're neck-and-neck with the Minnesota Wild for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. It's even more disappointing as Landeskog is playing some of his best hockey of the season, scoring nine points in his last ten games and leading a solid two-way line with Carl Soderberg and Shawn Matthias.
The Avalanche will play their next three games on the road against non-playoff teams -- Saturday against Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday versus the Vancouver Canucks, and Friday against the Calgary Flames. It remains to be seen whether or not the Avalanche will make a corresponding roster move. They currently have two AHL call-ups remaining on the season and there are no roster restrictions following last week's trade deadline.