Forward out until he gets doctors' OK

Updated: April 21, 2004, 2:41 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Lapointe was suspended by the NHL on Friday after he was placed into the second stage of the league's substance abuse and behavioral health program.

Claude Lapointe
Lapointe

Under the terms of the program, run by the NHL and the players' association, Lapointe will be suspended without pay until he is cleared by doctors to return.

Lapointe, 35, missed 33 games earlier this season after he voluntarily sought inpatient treatment in December.

After 28 days at a center in Boca Raton, Fla., Lapointe was cleared Feb. 3 by the NHL to return to the Flyers. He said in January that he was being treated for depression, not drug or alcohol abuse.

Lapointe rejoined the Flyers on Feb. 10 and played in 24 of Philadelphia's final 27 regular-season games. He also had two shots in 9:38 of ice time Thursday night in the Flyers' 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils in the opener of their first-round playoff series.

Lapointe, traded to the Flyers by the New York Islanders before last year's trading deadline, had five goals and three assists in 42 games this season.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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