Monday, October 29, 2007

NHL Suspends Jones for Two Games

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones was suspended two games without pay by the NHL on Monday for a hit on Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron.

Bergeron was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the first period of Saturday's 2-1 loss against Philadelphia.

With 3:53 left in the period, Bergeron was playing the puck along the end boards when he was elbowed in the back of the head and sent face-first into the glass by Jones.

Bergeron was knocked unconscious from the hit and lay prone on his back. He was immobilized, then taken to nearby Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion and a broken nose. X-Rays and a CT scan revealed no additional damage to the head or neck.

Jones was assessed a five-minute major for boarding as well as a game misconduct for the hit.

"While it is my determination that Jones did not intend to injure his opponent, he did deliver a hard check to a player who was in a vulnerable position," said league disciplinarian Colin Campbell. "There have been suggestions by some that this hit was comparable to incidents earlier this season where players received significant game suspensions for blows to the head. These comparisons and suggestions are wrong."

Campbell referred to comparisons between this incident and a pair of others involving the Flyers this season. Forward Steve Downie was given a 20-game suspension for an illegal hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in the preseason which left McAmmond with a concussion. Then, on October 12, forward Jesse Boulerice was hit with a 25-game ban for cross-checking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in the face two days earlier.

Jones will forfeit $5,614.98 in salary, which automatically goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

The 26-year-old will miss Thursday's game in Montreal and Friday's game in Washington, and will be eligible to play again for the Flyers contest November 5 against the New York Rangers.

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