Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp was suspended one regular-season game and three playoff games for an illegal check in the NHL's first ruling since Brendan Shanahan stepped down as the league's supplemental discipline czar.
The suspension resulted from Rupp's hit against St. Louis Blues winger T.J. Oshie at 10:30 of the second period Thursday.
Patrick Burke of the NHL's Department of Player Safety said Rupp was guilty of both interference and an illegal blow to the head. Burke said Oshie "was no longer eligible to be hit."
Oshie dropped to the ice after Rupp caught him in the chin with a shoulder during the second period. Oshie had passed the puck to the point and was circling to get back in the play when Rupp hit him. He received a match penalty. "The onus is on Rupp to avoid this hit," Burke said.
Rupp, who had never previously been suspended, will forfeit $7,692.31. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Shanahan handed down two recent suspensions for an illegal check to the head: three games to Montreal Canadiens defenseman Douglas Murray and four to Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. Rupp, like Murray, has no previous suspension history.
Rupp was playing just his first game since Feb. 1.
Though Oshie eventually got up and skated to the dressing room, he didn't return to the game.
"Obviously Osh is out. He's like everything else at this time of year, he's day-to-day," Hitchcock told reporters after the game. "But certainly a tough hit to take right now."
If the Blues' shootout star and second-leading star misses any more games, it would deny St. Louis another top-line player as it tries to end a late-season slump that has cost the team its spot atop the Central Division.