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HOCKEY DAILY REPORT : MIGHTY DUCKS

Daigneault Gets Day in Court

March 04, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD

Commissioner Gary Bettman listened to arguments in J.J. Daigneault's appeal of his 10-game suspension for several hours at the NHL offices in New York.

Though Bettman didn't make an immediate ruling, he told Daigneault he could expect a decision today, a spokesman for Daigneault's agent Ron Salcer said. Daigneault was penalized for abuse of an official after hitting referee Don Koharski with his stick in a game Feb. 23.

Under NHL rules, a player can receive an automatic 10-game suspension if he "deliberately applies physical force to an official . . . without intent to injure." Intent to injure could draw a 20-game suspension.

Daigneault, who wasn't allowed to argue his side before the suspension, presented his case with the assistance of attorneys from the NHL Players Assn., arguing that he never struck Koharski intentionally. In its original ruling, the NHL noted there was some accidental contact before Daigneault hit Koharski with his stick, but contended Daigneault later swung his stick at Koharski intentionally and missed.

Daigneault, who has served three games of the suspension, cannot play while his appeal is pending, but is allowed to practice with the team.

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