NHL suspends Caps' Brashear for six games
Pregame scuffle, hit on Betts lead to disciplinary action from league
|Donald Brashear will not be allowed to play in the next six NHL games he might otherwise have been active, regardless of whether those games take place in the playoffs or regular season.|
The NHL announced on Monday that Washington Capitals forward Donald Brashear has been suspended for a total of six games as a result of two separate incidents -- one prior to and one during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final series Sunday against the New York Rangers.
Brashear was suspended one game for initiating contact with Rangers forward Colton Orr during the pregame warm-up. Brashear was suspended for five additional games for his blind-side hit on New York forward Blair Betts at 9:54 of the first period.
"Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player," said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. "It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury."
Brashear's suspension will be served beginning Tuesday night when the Capitals meet the Rangers in Game 7 of the first-round series. The suspension will extend through the Capitals' next five 2009 playoff games, the 2009-10 regular season, or both, as circumstances warrant.
The hit on Betts, which injured the Rangers center, occurred at 9:54 of the opening period on Sunday afternoon. No penalty was called on the play, although Betts and Paul Mara both received roughing penalties for a scuffle immediately after the hit.