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Chris Pronger's previous suspensions

3/15/2008 - NHL Chris Pronger Anaheim Ducks + more

A look at past incidents involving NHL defenseman Chris Pronger:

• 1995: The league suspended Pronger, then with the St. Louis Blues, for four games after he hit Capitals forward Pat Peake in the throat with a stick during a Oct. 29 game at the Kiel Center. Brian Burke, the NHL's director of hockey operations at the time, held a hearing with Pronger, Blues GM and coach Mike Keenan, Pronger's agent and a NHL Players' Association rep. Peake suffered a fractured thyroid cartilage and was expected to miss four weeks at the time of the hit.

• 1998: Pronger, still with the Blues, was suspended for four games for slashing Phoenix's Jeremy Roenick on Dec. 17, 1998. Pronger drew a match penalty when he took a swing at Roenick's helmet. Colin Campbell, the NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations, ruled that Pronger was attempting to injure Roenick in an "extremely reckless and dangerous manner."

• 2001: Pronger was suspended without pay for one game after leaving the bench and instigating a fight with the Kings' Kelly Buchberger during an Oct. 11, 2000 game. Blues winger Pavol Demitra suffered a broken nose when Buchberger hit him with an elbow during the second period. That hit provoked Pronger to leave the bench.

• 2002: Pronger received a two-game suspension without pay for cross-checking Stars forward Brenden Morrow in an April 3 game. The suspension cost Pronger $231,707.32 in salary. The cross-check left Morrow bleeding near one of his eyes. St. Louis beat Dallas 2-1 in overtime.

• 2004: Pronger, still with St. Louis, was suspended one game without pay for kicking Calgary's Ville Nieminen during a March 14 game. Pronger kicked Nieminen with 9:23 gone in the first period, but there was no penalty on the play. The suspension came as St. Louis was making a late push for the playoffs. The Blues were later ousted in the first round.

• 2007: Pronger, in his first postseason with the Ducks, was suspended one game for his hit on Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on May 15. Pronger and Rob Niedermayer drove Holmstrom into the glass from behind midway through the second period. The hit knocked off Holmstrom's helmet and left him on the ice with a cut to his forehead. Holmstrom did return to the game. Niedermayer received a five-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct. Pronger was not penalized. Replays apparently showed Pronger hitting Holmstrom in the head with his elbows, leading the NHL to review the incident.

• 2007: Pronger was suspended one game for his blow to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. McAmmond was
struck as he skated with the puck toward the Ducks net. He did a spin, fell backward, struck his head on the ice, and slid into the corner in the Anaheim zone at 2:01 of the third period. McAmmond was briefly knocked out and left the ice looking woozy after several minutes of on-ice attention.

Only two other players in NHL history have been suspended twice in the same playoff season. Ville Nieminen of the Calgary Flames sat out one game in the 2004 final after a head shot on Tampa's Vincent Lecavalier. Earlier, he'd received a one-game sentence for charging into Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph in the second round. Claude Lemieux is the other and has the distinction of being the only player to be suspended twice in the same series. He earned a one-game ban for punching Slava Kozlov of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1996 Western Conference finals, and then, in one of the most brutal hits in playoff history, got a two-game hiatus when he drilled the Wings' Kris Draper from behind. Draper suffered severe facial injuries as a result of the hit.

The only other player to be suspended in the finals beyond Pronger and Nieminen was Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer, who was suspended for cross-checking Carolina's Tommy Westlund in the 2002 finals.

• 2008: In the first minute of the second period of the Ducks' game March 12 against the Vancouver Canucks, Pronger and Canucks forward Ryan Kesler got tangled up in the corner behind the Anaheim goal. Kesler, a hard forechecker, hit Pronger but ended up on his back, with Pronger's right foot between his legs. Pronger got his foot free, but video shows he took his foot and stepped hard on Kesler's left leg. Kesler was not injured, but he was adamant after the game that Pronger intentionally stepped on his calf. The NHL reviewed it, and no punishment was initally administered. The league got better, clearer video the next day, and on March 15, handed down the eight-game suspension, the longest of Pronger's career.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.