Tkachuk suspended four games

Feb. 25, 2003 at 5:12 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- St. Louis Blues left wing Keith Tkachuk was suspended four games by the NHL Tuesday as a result of his cross-check on Wes Walz of the Minnesota Wild.

The incident took place with 2:13 left in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Wild. Reacting to a check on linemate Pavol Demitra, Tkachuk cross-checked an unsuspecting Walz in the neck, drawing a match penalty for intent to injure.

"Blows with the stick to the head area continue to be unacceptable," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations.

Match penalties automatically warrant review from the league, although they do not come with mandatory suspensions.

Tkachuk defended the hit, claiming he connected with Walz's shoulder.

"If I wanted to (hit him in the face), I could have," said Tkachuk, who leads the Blues with 28 goals. "I would never attempt to hurt anybody, I don't care who it was."

Walz was not hurt or angered over the check.

"It's part of the game," he said. "If he wanted to hit me in the head, he could have. He didn't get me in the face or it could have been worse. I think it looked worse than it was."

As a repeat offender, Tkachuk forfeits $487,000 of his salary.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
SB50: Denver Broncos face tough call at QB in 2016
Johnny Manziel's ex-girlfriend claims he hit her
NFLPA hopes to have independent arbitration for player discipline next season
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Group recreates 'Mario Kart' video game at UK mall