Doan suspended three games for hit on Benn

The NHL has suspended Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan three games for elbowing Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn in Tuesday night’s 4-3 shootout win by the Stars.

“While we accept Doan’s assertion that the action was not intentional, we feel that Doan’s extended elbow in that situation was reckless and made him responsible for the dangerous head contact that resulted,” the NHL’s Brendan Shanahan said in announcing the suspension. “It is important to note that Doan is a repeat offender, having been suspended for three games 17 months ago for an illegal check to the head. We have also taken into consideration that Doan was fined just five days ago for a dangerous boarding incident.”

The hit took place in the second period, just after the Stars had taken a 2-1 lead in the game on a power play goal by Michael Ryder. After Benn chipped the puck past Doan in the Dallas zone, Doan stuck out his elbow and caught Benn in the head.

“He got me pretty good,” Benn said Wednesday morning.

Benn, who took two big hits in the game including the elbow from Doan, said he was OK and would play Thursday against the Canucks.

"Feeling fine, normal," Benn said.

The Dallas forward was asked if he was disappointed with the hit, and took the diplomatic route.

"No, it's hockey. It's so fast out there, things happen," Benn said. "I'll let the league deal with it.

“Hockey is a rough sport. Bodies are flying, elbows are flying. Guys are trying to crack down on it now. Players are doing a lot better at taking responsibility for their hits. It was just a play that happened fast and it is what it is.”

Benn was also nailed hard by Phoenix forward Antoine Vermette in overtime and left the game briefly. He returned to take part in the shootout. Benn admitted he might have been a target for the Coyotes on Tuesday night.

“Everyone is looking to get into the playoffs and they are keying on guys to shut them down,” he said. “I had an ‘X’ on my back last night, but I’ll take that if they are going to leave our top line alone. They stepped up and played a good game.”

Doan, who will forfeit $166,463.40 in salary, will be eligible to return for the March 29 game versus the San Jose Sharks.

Shanahan video explanation

Here's the video explanation of the Shane Doan suspension from the NHL's Brendan Shanahan.