Vancouver Canucks right-winger Zack Kassian pleaded his case with the NHL's department of safety Monday but it apparently fell on deaf ears.

Kassian was suspended for eight games by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan — three in pre-season and the first five of the regular season — for breaking the jaw of Edmonton Oilers centre Sam Gagner with a careless high stick Saturday. He also broke five of Gagner's teeth.

Fellow Canucks right-winger Dale Weise was suspended for the remainder of the pre-season (three games) for a check to the head of Taylor Hall the same night.

Kassian waived his right to an in-person hearing Monday the in-person hearing usually a sign the league is leaning towards a suspension of longer than five games. He received only a double minor on the play. He will be eligible to return Oct. 12 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Shanahan deemed the high stick reckless although he did accept Kassian's assertion it was not intentional.

“He is however responsible for the consequences of swinging his stick” Shanahan explained in a league-issued video. “As he nears the boards Kassian comes to a spinning stop recklessly swinging his stick in the face breaking Gagner's jaw.”

Shanahan ruled Weise targeted the head of Hall.

“Weise does not hit Hall through the body and the head is the main point of contact” said Shanahan. “This is an illegal check to the head.”

Prior to the verdict coming down Kassian insisted to reporters he struck Gagner by accident. Both he and Weise are first-time offenders.

“Obviously I didn't try to slash Gagner in the face” Kassian said. “All I can do is respect the league's decision. I could sit here all day and plead my case. Obviously you never want to see someone get injured and have to miss games but it was a hockey play. In the game of hockey things happen at a fast pace. They have their opinion. That's what this world is about.

“I have to respect the league's decision. You can't hang your head.”

Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan who handled media duties following Monday's morning skate said the team would “just respect” the process.

“There are all kinds of things the league takes into consideration when they make those type of decisions” Sullivan commented before the verdicts came down. “To the league's defence they're not easy decisions. There are so many aspects involved and there are two sides to every story. From where we sit as an organization and as coaches and players all we can do is be respectful of the league's process and be respectful of their authority and the decisions they make.

“Zack tried to make a bodycheck he missed and his momentum took him into the boards” continued Sullivan. “I don't think there was intent there. When you look at it most people I think would agree there wasn't any intent there. Obviously there was an injury and we'll be respectful of the decision they make.”