Rangers' Purinton suspended first 10 games of season

Updated: October 4, 2005, 5:32 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- New York Rangers defenseman Dale Purinton was suspended 10 games without pay by the NHL on Tuesday for gouging the eye of Boston's Colton Orr during an exhibition game.

Purinton was given a match penalty for gouging Orr's eye in the third period Saturday. He will lose $26,658 and won't be eligible to play until an Oct. 27 game against the Islanders.

"Purinton's actions were deliberate and dangerous," NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement. "In reaching this decision, it is also noted that Purinton has been suspended on three previous occasions by the league for deliberate attempts to injure an opponent."

Orr's eye was swollen shut, though he hopes to play in Wednesday's opener against Montreal.

Purinton was suspended three times for on-ice actions during the 2001-02 season. He also was released by the ECHL's Victoria Salmon Kings last season after he received a suspension for refusing to stop fighting and pulling the hair of a player.

Purinton has four goals, 16 assists and 578 penalty minutes in 181 career NHL regular-season games.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press