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Mechanics coach suspended for $200 bounty

2/22/2005

DETROIT -- Motor City Mechanics coach Steve Shannon was
suspended by the United Hockey League for the rest of the
season for offering his players $200 to take out Flint Generals
forward Kevin Kerr.

UHL commissioner Richard Brosal said Shannon never admitted to
offering the money, but a league investigation found that he placed
the bounty on Feb. 2 when the Mechanics played the Generals in
Flint.

Before the game, Kerr criticized NHL players who had joined UHL
teams, saying they were taking time from minor league players.

Chris Chelios, Derian Hatcher and Kris Draper of the Detroit Red
Wings joined the Mechanics on Feb. 1. Another Red Wings player,
Jason Woolley, recently signed with the Generals.

Brosal confirmed that the bounty was $200, but said the amount
wasn't important.

"I don't care if it was $5. You do not put a bounty on another
player's head," Brosal said.

Brosal said Shannon won't be automatically reinstated for the
2005 season.

"I would review that again if it came up. We'll just have to
wait and see," he said.

Shannon didn't immediately return a phone message left by The
Associated Press. He will miss the final 24 games played by the
last-place Mechanics (17-33-6).

Former Mechanics coach Garry Unger will reassume the job until
further notice. Mechanics president John Tull planned to meet with
team owners Tuesday to discuss the situation.

"We regret that Steve's been suspended, but we back the
league's decision," Tull said. "Neither the league nor the
Mechanics would ever condone headhunting out on the ice."

Tull said Kerr was slightly injured by a clean check in the
game, but no one collected any money from Shannon.

"Nothing ended up happening. Most of the players realized that
is not the way to conduct yourself as a professional," Tull said.

The Mechanics face Flint again on Friday.

"We're just trying to put a fire out and ... have a
professional, clean hockey game," Tull said.