Sunday, February 13, 2011

NHL suspends three players, fines Islanders after brawl-filled game

Saturday night the NHL handed down its discipline for the various brawls and altercations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders Friday night that featured 346 penalty minutes including 21 misconducts, both game and 10-minute.

Three players have been suspended, Trevor Gilles and Matt Martin from New York and Eric Godard from Pittsburgh, and the Islanders have been fined $100,000 in what can only be viewed as the NHL making a statement about this level of in-game violence. (If somehow you managed to not see some of the highlights of this one, Greg Wyshynski and the folks over at Puck Daddy have a nice wrap up.)

From the NHL's news release:

New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies has been suspended for nine games for delivering a blow to the head and then administering several punches to the Penguins' Eric Tangradi, who was injured by Gillies' actions; Matt Martin has been suspended for four games as a result of delivering several punches from behind to an unsuspecting opponent (the Penguins' Max Talbot); and Penguins forward Eric Godard was suspended automatically for 10 games under Rule 70.11 for leaving the players' bench for the purpose of engaging in an altercation.
In addition to the suspensions, Gillies will lose $24,193.53 in salary; Martin will forfeit $41,585.36 (repeat offender); and Godard $40,322.25. The Islanders organization has also been fined $100,000...
"The actions by the Islanders' Gillies and Martin were deliberate attempts to injure by delivering blows to the head of players who were unsuspecting and unable to defend themselves," said Campbell. "The message should be clear to all players: targeting the head of an opponent by whatever means will be dealt with by suspension.
"With respect to the Godard suspension, there can be no circumstance that allows for a player to leave his bench for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate.
"The Islanders also must bear some responsibility for their failure to control their players," Campbell added.

Earlier this week, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens played a heated, fight-filled game with 182 penalty minutes and across the league, games where rivalries boil over are occurring with greater frequency. Granted while the Bruins 8-6 win over the Canadiens was also penalty-filled it didn't have the same tone as the Islanders' 9-3 win against the Penguins.

read entire story here

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