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NHL suspends Peca indefinitely for making contact with on-ice official

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus Blue Jackets center Michael Peca has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL for making contact with an on-ice official.

The team and league announced the suspension on Saturday. Peca was automatically suspended per Rule 41, Physical Abuse of Officials, Category 2.

He was assessed a game misconduct penalty at 5:21 of the second period of the Blue Jackets' season opener on Friday night at Dallas, which they went on to win 5-4 on Rick Nash's goal in overtime.

"He is such a big player for us and has tons of experience in the locker room and on the ice," Nash said following the Jackets' 3-1 loss Saturday. "But we also have guys that can step up and play."

Peca, an alternate captain, has appealed but will remain suspended pending a hearing to be scheduled next week.