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NHL suspends Olli Jokinen for three games, Mattias Ritola for two

TORONTO – The National Hockey League handed down a pair of suspensions Thursday, banning Calgary Flames centre Olli Jokinen for three games and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Mattias Ritola two contests.

Both incidents took place Wednesday night.

Jokinen cross-checked Phoenix Coyotes winger Wojtek Wolski in the head during Calgary’s 3-1 loss while Ritola charged into and drilled Matt Moulson of the New York Islanders from behind.

Jokinen received a major for cross-checking and a game misconduct at 10:32 of the third period, when he joined an altercation between teammate Niklas Hagman and Wolski and delivered a blow to the back of Wolski’s head.

Jokinen showed his unhappiness with the suspension in a statement he issued Thursday night.

“I disagree with the League’s decision to suspend me for three games … My intent was not to injure and circumstances that resulted in my stick going higher then expected. While I am upset with the ruling, I will abide by it and serve my three games while preparing to help my team when I return.”

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Ritola’s act took place at 6:13 of the second period, when he skated at Moulson and was assessed a charging major penalty.

The Islanders forward had his back turned to the play was facing the boards when Ritola jumped into him, sending Moulson’s head into the glass.

The ban left Ritola unavailable for Thursday’s game at Philadelphia and another at Buffalo on Saturday. He can return Nov. 22 against Boston.

Jokinen forfeits US$48,387.09 in salary while Ritola loses $5,555.92. The money goes to the Players’Emergency Assistance Fund.