Sutton suspended four games for hit on Leafs' Tucker

NEW YORK -- Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Andy Sutton was
suspended for four games by the NHL on Saturday after his hit on
Darcy Tucker left the Toronto forward with a bloodied forehead.

Sutton was ejected Friday night with 10:03 left in Atlanta's 9-1
loss to Toronto. He was scheduled to miss Saturday's game against
the New York Rangers as well as contests against Tampa Bay, New
Jersey and the New York Islanders.
He is eligible to return Oct. 27 at Pittsburgh.
Sutton drove Tucker hard into the glass, and Tucker's head
appeared to strike a partition -- opening a gash that required
several stitches.
"In no way, shape or form did I mean to injure Darcy," Sutton
told The Associated Press. "I finished my check the way I have
hundreds of times before. He just happened to hit his head in a bad

Sutton was given a match penalty and ejected for attempting to
After the Thrashers held a meeting and a 30-minute skate
Saturday morning, Sutton and general manager Don Waddell stepped
into an office for a conference call disciplinary hearing with NHL
"I just told them exactly what's been going on with me," the
disappointed Sutton said in hushed tones. "I haven't been playing
a lot of minutes, and irregardless of the score I try to go out and
play the game a certain way and try to bring some intensity."
Sutton is scoreless in Atlanta's first five games this season.
He is averaging just under 13 minutes per game and is a minus-3.
With Friday's game already long decided, Eric Boulton caught
Toronto's Eric Lindros with a hard hit up high and drove him into
the boards. It drew an elbowing call and set off a brawl once Maple
Leafs enforcer Tie Domi jumped in and squared off with Boulton.
"Domi came in and started the entire thing," Thrashers coach
Bob Hartley said Saturday. "Boulton's hit on Lindros was one of
those hits that you see about 30 times a game. It was far from
being a cheap shot, he was just eliminating his man."
Atlanta's Garnet Exelby and Boulton were ejected, while Domi
received an instigator penalty and a misconduct. That just set the
stage for Sutton's check on Tucker 23 seconds after the puck was
dropped again.
"Emotions were definitely heightened because of what was going
on," Sutton said. "The linesman was so fired up he tried to throw
me to the ice. Obviously the referees were jacked up."
The 30-year-old Sutton will lose $38,775.52 in salary because of
the suspension.
"Andy Sutton is not a dirty player by any means. I think he's a
very honest player and he just tried to finish his check," Hartley
said. "It's unfortunate and you never like to see players get
injured. But it was one of those things. I think since it occurred
just a couple of seconds after all those fights it looks way worse
than what it is."