MONTREAL - Right-winger Rich Sutter of the Vancouver Canucks was suspended for five games by the NHL on Monday for slashing Glenn Anderson of the Edmonton Oilers last month. Sutter slashed Anderson across the hands with his stick in a Jan. 27 game, resulting in an injury that sidelined the Oilers forward.
Brian O'Neill, the league's executive vice president who handed out the suspension and met with Sutter in Toronto last Thursday, said that Sutter's attack did not appear premediated and was his first offense, but was serious enough for a suspension.
"It is evident that he administered a severe blow that resulted in a serious injury to the Edmonton player, causing him to be out of action for some time," O'Neill said of Sutter in his written statement.
"It is also acknowledged that the action by Sutter was not premeditated, nor out of retaliation, but ultimately the full responsibility of the stick is that of the player and, in this case, Sutter swung his stick in a very reckless manner."