Nate Thompson of the Anaheim Ducks will miss the team’s next three games.  He’s been suspended for a an illegal check to the head of Carolina’s Justin Faulk.  The hit came 6:25 into the opening period of an eventual 5-1 Ducks loss.

Thompson was penalized on the play, receiving an elbowing major and a game misconduct from referees Greg Kimmerly and Brian Pochmara.

“I’m not a dirty player,” Thompson told the OC Register. “It was just one of those things where it happened fast. I wasn’t trying to hit his head. I’ve played with Faulker in the world championships with the U.S. He’s a great guy, great player.”

Faulk was not injured on the play.

“My intention is not to hurt anybody out there. He’s kind of falling forward. My shoulder hits him in the head. The ref’s got to make the call.”

From the Department of Player Safety’s Patrick Burke:

“Rather than hitting squarely thorugh his opponent’s body, Thompson extends his body unnecessarily and makes Faulk’s head the main point of contact. While Faulk is low to the ice as he steps up, he does not materially change the position of his head just prior to or simultaneous with contact.”

“If Thompson wishes to deliver this check, he must do so that does not make the head the main point of contact.”

Thompson’s been suspended before. In 2013, he sat for two games for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils’ forward Matt D’Agostini. Under the terms of the CBA, that does not make him a repeat offender, but his history certainly factored in to his suspension length. 

“I’m not going to judge the call they made or anything,” said Thompson. “It’s their job. It’s a lot of work for the league and everyone. They have to look at different angles, different views.”

“They make the call and I serve the time.”

Thompson forfeits $25,806.45 as a result of the suspension.