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Updated: November 13th, 2010 3:28pm
NHL suspends Burns two games for injury to Bernier

NHL suspends Burns two games for injury to Bernier

by Jess Myers
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Just hours after the Minnesota Wild called up forward Robbie Earl from the minor league affiliate in Houston, the team learned that it would be in need a of a defenseman as well, at least for a few days.

On Saturday afternoon, the NHL suspended Wild defenseman Brent Burns for two games, without pay, for careless use of his stick. At the final horn of Friday night's game at Florida, Burns was involved in a scuffle and stuck Panthers forward Steve Bernier with the butt-end of his stick. According to a report published in the Star Tribune, Bernier was rushed from the arena to a nearby hospital, bleeding from a cut under the eye.

Today, the Star Tribune's Mike Russo reported that Bernier suffered a broken orbital bone in his right cheek and will undergo surgery on Saturday afternoon.

The two-game suspension will mean a salary loss of $38,172 for Burns, who is tied for the team lead in goals with five. The money will be donated to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Russo reported that Burns sent Bernier a text message to apologize on Saturday, and said he will call the Panthers player later.

"What I went through the last two years with injuries, I don't want to hurt anybody," Burns told the Star Tribune. "I think I play the game pretty hard, but I love to play hockey and I don't want to hurt anybody. At the end of the day, it's a game. To know he was hurt, I felt pretty bad and still do."

Burns will have to sit out Sunday's road game at Tampa Bay and Wednesday's home game with Anaheim. He will be eligible to return for next Friday's game in Detroit. He was assessed a five-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct at the end of the game on Friday.

Jess Myers covers the Wild and college hockey for He is a member of the editorial advisory board for USA Hockey Magazine.
Email Jess | @JessRMyers
In this story: Brent Burns, Robbie Earl