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League suspends Flyers rookie 20 games for hit

September 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

Philadelphia Flyers rookie Steve Downie received a 20-game suspension from the NHL -- one of the longest punishments in league history -- for leaving his feet to deliver a deliberate and dangerous hit to the head of Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond.

"It's a hit that as soon you see it live, you think, 'This is going to be a bad one,' " NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said.

Downie received a match penalty and was automatically suspended until Friday's hearing in Toronto. His suspension matched the fourth-longest in league history, falling five games shy of the league record handed down against Islanders forward Chris Simon for his two-handed stick attack to the face of Ryan Hollweg of the New York Rangers in March.

"I'm disappointed with the outcome," Downie said. "But I'm going to take this in a positive way, work hard, get in better shape and be prepared for when the suspension is over."

McAmmond was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the second period of Tuesday's exhibition game and is out indefinitely with a concussion. McAmmond has a history of concussions and was knocked out of the playoffs last season after a hit to the head by Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger.

The NHL violated antitrust laws and is acting like "an illegal cartel" by monopolizing control of team promotions, Madison Square Garden claimed in a lawsuit. MSG, which owns the New York Rangers, said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan because the NHL would begin fining the organization $100,000 a day starting Friday if the company did not give the league control over the Rangers' website and other promotions.

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