As I reported on Twitter an hour or so ago, Wild defenseman Brent Burns has been suspended two games for butt-ending Florida's Steve Bernier on the right cheek. Bernier suffered a broken orbital bone and will undergo surgery this afternoon.

There's no timetable for his return yet.

Burns felt terrible. As I wrote on the below blog, I heard he was pretty glum on the bus last night. He tried texting Bernier last night, but he had the wrong number. He got his right number today and says he texted him and plans to try to call him.

"What I went through the last two years with injuries, I don’t want to hurt anybody," Burns said. "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 said, "Obviously there’s no intent. There’s 10 scrums like that a game. I’m not even trying to fight him. If I try to fight him, I’m a righty. ... But I’ve got to be responsible for my stick."
Update: Burns will lose $38,172 of his $3.8 million salary. It's his first offense, so he's suspended based on $3.55 million cap hit over 186 days, not 82 games, meaning he loses two days pay.

General Manager Chuck Fletcher: "I don’t think anybody feels worse about the situation than Brent himself. You watch the play, there’s clearly no intent on Brent’s part to injure the player.

"All of us hope Steve Bernier has a speedy recovery, but for those of us that know Brent and watched him play, he’s not that type of player. He’s not a dirty player."
Fletcher said that league discipline czar Colin Campbell was sympathetic toward Burns, but he was contending with a significant injury to Bernier and had to make a statement.

On a funny aside to a not-so funny situation, I asked coach Todd Richards, who's not one of those coaches with a huge salary in his back pocket (although he does quite well for himself), if he thought he'd be writing a check for 10 grand once he heard Burns got a fighting major. Remember, a fighting major WITH an instigator in the last five minutes earns the coach a fine and the player a suspension.

Richards, with the funniest grin ever, goes, "I thought about it."

As the below blog says, Robbie Earl is coming up. As the below blog guessed, Marek Zidlicky's got a flight out of Minneapolis -- weather permitting. His leg is feeling better, and they'd love Zidlicky to be in the lineup tomorrow vs. the Lightning, which is without Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne and maybe Steve Downie.

That's it from beautiful Tampa. Stay out of the snow, or have fun in it -- whichever you prefer. Craig Leipold's in town buying management dinner tonight. And I hear the Wild's having a team dinner -- being picked up by captain Mikko Koivu.