Hatcher suspended for Ciccarelli injury

December 14, 1991|By James H. Jackson | James H. Jackson,Sun Staff Correspondent

LANDOVER -- The Minnesota North Stars will be without rookie defenseman Derian Hatcher for 10 games because of a high-sticking incident against the Capitals' Dino Ciccarelli last Saturday.

Hatcher, the younger brother of Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Hatcher, slashed Ciccarelli under his left eye at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minn. The gash took 10 stitches to close, and Ciccarelli sat out the next game.

The odd thing about the incident was that referee Kerry Fraser did not call a penalty against the younger Hatcher. Capitals coach Terry Murray at the time argued that a high-sticking major and a game misconduct should be called and appealed the decision to the National Hockey League office. A hearing and review of the game tape was held Wednesday.

Brian O'Neill, NHL executive vice president, yesterday suspended Hatcher for 10 games without pay. The suspension will take effect in seven days (Dec. 20) unless Minnesota notifies the NHL that it will waive the appeal period.

"The swing by Hatcher, which struck Ciccarelli directly in the face, was vicious and severe enough to cause serious injury," said O'Neill. "The blade of the stick was turned in and this was a direct cause of the extent of the injury to Ciccarelli. The player used extremely reckless and careless means to check an opponent who at the time was not in possession of the puck."

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