PHILADELPHIA – Steve Downie has received a stern talking to from the league and his coach but the Philadelphia Flyers forward will not be suspended for sucker-punching Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said he and Downie spoke to NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell after the incident in Philadelphia’s 3-2 win at the Air Canada Centre last Saturday night.
“We had a conversation with Mr. Campbell and that’s it. The rest will be between the league, the Flyers and Steve,” Holmgren told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It was a good talk.
“It’s Steve’s (fourth) NHL game. He’s walking a fine line there, which is basically what he was told. My conversation with Steve was a little harsher than Colin Campbell’s.”
Downie, who scored his first NHL goal in the game, punched Blake in the face while the veteran forward was being held by a linesman. Downie’s double minor came in the third period and the Leafs scored on the power play to get back in the game.
“I took a penalty that hurt the team and I can’t do that,” Downie told the Inquirer, admitting he has again been put on notice by the league. “There’s a fine line you’ve got to follow and I crossed it again. I got to learn.”
Downie was suspended for 20 games earlier this season after a pre-season hit on Dean McAmmond in Ottawa.
Blake’s eye was swollen after the punch but he was not expected to miss any action.