BUFFALO, N.Y. – Former NHL forward Matthew Barnaby was fired by ESPN as the cable network’s hockey analyst on Monday, a day after being charged with drunken driving for being found behind the wheel of an SUV that was missing its front tire.
In an email sent to The Associated Press, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz wrote the network informed Barnaby that his contract was terminated “effective immediately.”
The decision was made a day after Erie County sheriff’s office said Barnaby was driving a Porsche Cayenne with front-end damage and a sparking rim in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, where he lives. Barnaby was arrested after failing field sobriety tests and refusing a breath test.
The 38-year-old had his license revoked and was given tickets to appear in Clarence Town Court. His lawyer did not return messages seeking comment.
Barnaby broke into the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres during the 1992-93 season. He played for seven teams over 13-plus NHL seasons, earning a reputation as a pesky agitator during a career in which he finished with 113 goals and 300 points. He also had 2,562 penalty minutes in 834 games.
He retired in 2007 because of a concussion sustained during a fight. He joined ESPN as a studio analyst in 2008.
This is Barnaby’s second run-in with the law this year.
In July, he was ordered to complete 500 hours of community service to have charges dropped stemming from an argument he had with his estranged wife in May. Barnaby was accused of causing about US$300 damage by kicking a garage door in an attempt to enter a home where his wife and two children live in suburban Buffalo.
Barnaby was barred from taking “offensive” action against his wife and to avoid contact with his wife’s boyfriend. He was also ordered to attend anger management counselling.
As part of the plea agreement, the misdemeanour charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment would be dropped if he fulfilled the judge’s order within a year.
Barnaby, who’s from Ottawa, would have faced potential deportation had he been convicted.