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Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Sundin heaved broken stick into stands

Associated Press

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mats Sundin was suspended Wednesday for one game for throwing his broken stick into the stands.

Sundin was about to take a shot when the stick snapped in the second period of Toronto's 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the Nashville Predators. He blindly backhanded the broken shaft into the lower tier at Air Canada Centre.

No one was injured, Sundin was not penalized and he wound up with assists on Bryan McCabe's goals in the third period.

That drew that ire of Nashville coach Barry Trotz.

"Pitching your stick up into the stands should be a game misconduct," Trotz said. "It's sort of ironic he sets up their two goals."

Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Sundin will forfeit a game check of $47,685.19. The money goes to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.

"Regardless of whether Mr. Sundin may have been overcome by the frustration or emotion of the moment, there is no way the league can tolerate his reaction," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's director of hockey operations.

Sundin acknowledged his frustration.

"That was a brain cramp there, I'm just glad nobody got hurt," he said.

To replace Sundin, the Maple Leafs recalled forward Kyle Wellwood from St. John's of the AHL on Wednesday. Wellwood, 20, has seven goals and 23 assists in 37 games for St. John's this season.