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'A dangerous act'
Salei suspended 10 games for hit on Mike Modano
Posted: Thursday October 07, 1999 09:25 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Anaheim Mighty Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei was suspended for 10 games by the NHL on Tuesday for his hit on Dallas' Mike Modano last week. Two other Anaheim players were suspended for different actions in the same game.
Salei cross-checked Modano from behind into the boards during the second period of Saturday's game. Modano sustained injuries to his head, face and neck after his head hit the boards, and is out indefinitely.
"I have all the respect in the world for him," Salei said. "It is just a bad accident. It's the result [not the incident itself] why I'm being punished."
"This was a dangerous act by Mr. Salei against an opponent who was in a vulnerable position and unable to defend himself," said Colin Campbell, NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations. "Everyone connected with hockey knows that a hit or a push from behind on a player is an extremely dangerous play and can result in serious injury. We were fortunate that Mr. Modano was not more severely injured."
All three suspensions began Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. Because league rules prohibit teams from replacing suspended players on the 23-man active roster, all 20 of the remaining players on the Mighty Ducks' roster were in uniform.
Salei will forfeit $109,756 in salary and will be eligible to return on Oct. 29 against the Washington Capitals.
Trepanier was suspended for hitting Dallas center Joe Nieuwendyk with an elbow to the head midway through the third period. Trepanier is eligible to return Oct. 16 at Florida.
"Our stance against hits to the head remains very much in place," Campbell said. "Such behavior will not be tolerated."
McKenzie was suspended for initiating an altercation with Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor, and persisting although Sydor offered no resistance and was defenseless.
Nieuwendyk returned to play against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, but Sydor remained out indefinitely with a fractured eye socket.
"I think they're sending a message," Nieuwendyk said after Tuesday night's game. "It's an unfortunate thing that had to happen -- three ugly incidents in one game.
"As players you have to respect who you're playing against or someone's going to get seriously hurt," he said. "I think they've done what they feel they have to do and hopefully that's enough."
McKenzie, who will be eligible to return Oct. 15 at Tampa Bay, said Sydor started the incident by throwing an elbow.
"You saw the tape," McKenzie said. "Did I start the fight? The tough part is the league handles the decision and that's all there is to it."
Trepanier forfeits almost $10,000 in salary, while McKenzie loses close to $13,000. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
"I think it's a hair light, but it's a start," said Dallas' Brett Hull, who jumped to Modano's defense after the cross-check and got into a fight with Salei. "Hopefully it will be [enough], but you don't know. It's a part of the game that has to go. That kind of rough play cannot be tolerated."
The longest suspension for an on-ice infraction was 21 games given to Washington's Dale Hunter for a late hit on a celebrating Pierre Turgeon after Turgeon scored against the Capitals during the 1993 playoffs.
Tom Lysiak of the Chicago Blackhawks was suspended 20 games in 1983 for intentionally tripping an official. Three others have received 15-game suspensions.
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