10/31/2014 07:43 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST

Canucks' Burrows suspended 3 games without pay by NHL for hit on Canadiens' Emelin

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows has been suspended for three games without pay by the NHL for his late, illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin.

Burrows slammed into Emelin at 8:23 of the second period of the Canucks' 3-2 overtime victory over the Canadiens on Thursday night. Emelin left after the hit, but returned later in the game. There was no penalty on the play.

Burrows said after the game that he did not intend to hurt Emelin with the hit.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning, who was present for Burrows' hearing on Friday, agreed with his player and added that he didn't expect a three-game suspension to be handed down.

"He (Burrows) tried to hit shoulder-to-shoulder, Emelin lost his balance and what started as a shoulder-to-shoulder hit, he ended up clipping him in the head," Benning said. "Hockey's a fast game and those things are going to happen. There's nothing we can do about it. We're going to live with the league ruling and move forward."

Under the terms of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Burrows will forfeit US$72,580.65. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.