BOSTON -- Bruins forward Nathan Horton suffered a severe concussion and is sidelined for the rest of the Stanley Cup final after Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome drilled him with a blindside hit in the first period of Game Three in TD Garden.
Rome was handed a four-game suspension, ending his season, in a decision handed down by the NHL this afternoon. Senior Vice President Mike Murphy, who is serving as chief disciplinarian in this series, made the decision and meeting with Rome today.
It was a stiff penalty but one that should have been expected given the crackdown in recent years on hits to the head. Rome's hit met virtually all the criteria for Rule 48, which was added with the intent of eliminating such hits from the game.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed in a statement released by the team that Horton will not return before the best-of-seven series is decided. Horton was carted off the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in Massachusetts General Hospital. The Bruins already were without Marc Savard after he suffered a severe concussion.
The Bruins had their media availability this afternoon at Boston University. The Canucks are scheduled to meet with reporters later this afternoon.
--- Bucky Gleason