Pens' Orpik suspended 3 games for hit on Cole

TORONTO -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik
got off easy compared to Erik Cole.

Orpik, who delivered a hit from behind that knocked out Cole for
the rest of the regular season, was suspended for three games
without pay by the NHL on Monday.

In Saturday's game against Carolina, Orpik was assessed a
boarding major and game misconduct for hitting Cole from behind. On Sunday, Cole was diagnosed with a compression fracture in a
vertebra in his neck.

"While it is apparent that there was no deliberate intent to
injure on this play, Mr. Orpik's careless hit on his opponent
resulted in a serious injury," NHL executive vice president of
hockey operations Colin Campbell said.

"Even if a player leaves himself vulnerable, the checking player does bear some
responsibility in avoiding a hit on a defenseless player."

Orpik, who also will forfeit $9,948.99 in salary, has two goals
and six points in 46 games this season. He will miss games
against Tampa Bay, Washington and New Jersey.