Friday, March 04, 2011

NHL hands down decision on Islanders' Gillies

Toronto, Ontario - The National Hockey League on Friday suspended New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies 10 games for his illegal hit to the head of Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck.

The incident occurred at the 2:23 mark of the second period in Wednesday's 4-1 Islanders victory, when Gillies leveled Clutterbuck with a hard check from behind and into the boards after play had stopped.

Gillies was given a major for checking from behind and a game misconduct for his actions.

"By targeting his opponent's head, three shifts into his first game back from a suspension for a very similar action, Mr. Gillies has forfeited his privilege of playing in the league for 10 games," said NHL discipline czar Colin Campbell.

"While it is fortunate that there was no injury on the play, there can be no justification for a player delivering a dangerous check to an opponent in this manner."

As a repeat offender, Gillies forfeits $60,975.60 based on the number of games (82) in the season rather than the number of days (186). The money goes into the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. He will not be eligible to return until March 26, when the Islanders play the Philadelphia Flyers.

It is the second lengthy punishment in less than a month for the feisty 32- year-old.

On February 13, Gillies was given a nine-game ban and fined more than $24,000 for his role in a brawl during the early stages of the third period in a 9-3 Islanders win over Pittsburgh two days prior. Gillies was judged to have begun that fracas with an elbow to the head and several punches on Penguins forward Eric Tangradi.

Chris Botta, the New York Times NHL blogger, reported after the suspension was handed down, that the Islanders failed to send team representation with Gillies to the hearing. It is customary for any player facing a hearing and possible suspension to have at least one team rep along for the trip.

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