Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron handed three-game suspension

Paul Byron has been handed his first suspension during his 397-game NHL career. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes

Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron has been suspended three games for a hit that injured Florida Panthers defenceman MacKenzie Weegar on Tuesday night.

Byron was given a minor penalty for charging on a check that left Weegar in concussion protocol during the second period of Montreal’s 5-1 win over the visiting Panthers.

Both players are natives of Ottawa.

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In a video explaining the suspension, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety says “Byron launches himself excessively upwards coming off the ice to deliver the hit and in the process makes significant and forceful head contact.”

It marks the first suspension in Byron’s 397-game NHL career.

“There is no reason why the shoulder of Byron should be making direct and forceful contact with Weegar’s head,” the Department of Player Safety says.

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Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Byron will forfeit US$18,817.20. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Byron will miss Friday’s game in Columbus, Saturday’s home game against Philadelphia and a Jan. 23 tilt against visiting Arizona.

He’ll be eligible to return Feb. 2 against New Jersey.

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