The Washington Times - January 23, 2012, 07:01PM

Here is the full transcript of what Brendan Shanahan had to say in the video announcing a three-game suspension for Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin:

“Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, an incident occurred during the game between the Penguins and the Washington Capitals. At 4:05 of the second period, Washington forward Alex Ovechkin launched himself to deliver a check to Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek. This is charging.


As the video shows, Ovechkin has Michalek lined up for what could and should be a clean and hard body check. However, he launches himself to deliver the hit on Michalek. This is a violation of the charging rule, which states: ‘A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player who skates into or jumps into or charges an opponent in any manner.’

Although Michalek’s shoulder might be the initial point of contact for this hit, the act of launching causes contact to Michalek’s head. Often on big hits or collisions, a player’s feet will come off the ice slightly as a result of the impact. This, however, is not one of those occasions. Ovechkin drives up, launching and recklessly making contact with Michalek’s head.

There also are occasions when a player attempts to hit the shoulder and a sudden movement by his opponent causes the check to accidentally slide up and into the head area. This, however, is not one of those occasions. Michalek makes no sudden or unpredictable movements just prior to the hit, which would contribute to the violent nature of this check. Rather he leads against the boards and glass to brace himself for the oncoming check and the position of his head does not change.

While we accept Ovechkin’s assertion that he did not intend to hit Michalek in the head, the moment Ovechkin launches himself in the air prior to the hit, he becomes responsible for any contact to the head. It is important to note that Ovechkin has been suspended twice and fined twice for physical fouls during his six-season NHL career. We also took into account that while Michalek was shaken up on the play, he suffered no apparent injury and remained in the game.

To summarize: This was an illegal hit on which Ovechkin’s skates left in the ice in the act of launching himself into his opponent, making contact with his head. Michalek remained in the game and suffered no apparent injury on the play. Ovechkin has been suspended or fined for physical fouls four previous times in his six-season NHL career.

The department of player safety has decided to suspend Alex Ovechkin for three games.”