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NHL suspends Leafs’ Carter Ashton two games for boarding

AP

That's Carter Ashton of the Toronto Maple Leafs after he answered the bell with Shane O'Brien on Wednesday night. He had to drop the gloves after his hit from behind on Calgary Flames defenseman Derek Smith. That hit caught the eye of the NHL's Department of Player Safety, who decided to suspend Ashton for two games.

Here's Brendan Shanahan's explanation:

Preventable hits are something that Shanahan and the DoPS have been looking to minimize since he took over as discipline czar. Ashton's hit on Smith was completely preventable. Smith is eligible to be checked, but given his distance from the boards and the fact that Ashton sees his numbers and raises his arms to add force to his shove makes this an easy decision to suspend.

Ashton will be out $8,615.38 and be eligible to return to the Maple Leafs next Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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