Ottawa Senators forward Alex Burrows has been suspended 10 games without pay for his actions on Tuesday as his team faced off against the New Jersey Devils.
The 36-year-old was in an altercation with Taylor Hall at 10:02 of the second period. He was on the receiving end of a big hit from the Devil and retaliated by dragging Hall to the ice, where he proceeded to knee the opposing player in the head.
Burrows was suspended for kneeing and for being the “aggressor” in the encounter. He was given two minor penalties on the play, one for roughing and one for cross-checking.
Burrows had a phone hearing with the league on Wednesday after waiving his right to an in-person hearing. He subsequently claimed he was trying to get his arm free.
“He punched me in the back of the head like 10 times,” Hall said after the game. “He kind of lost his mind.”
Hall remained in the game and luckily escaped injury, but the incident could’ve been a whole lot worse given the egregiousness of Burrows’ actions.
Burrows has been suspended before, but the previous discipline did not play a role in determining this suspension. The previous suspension was a three-game ban in October of 2014. That was the result of an illegal check to the head of Alexei Emelin.
Burrows has been fined by the league, including earlier this season when he was dinged $5,000 for “roughing” Dylan DeMelo.
And there is, of course, the alleged “biting” incident from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Burrows apparently bit Patrice Bergeron’s fingers, but there was no discipline on the play because the league could not determine that the action in question was in fact intentional.
In 51 games with the Senators this season, the Pincourt native has eight points.
A productive ball hockey player, Burrows wasn’t drafted by an NHL team and started his career in the ECHL. He eventually worked his way up to a contract with the Vancouver Canucks and became a full-time NHLer by 2006-2007. He played his most productive years as a Canuck, including a 67-point campaign in 2009-2010.