NHL suspends three players and fines two coaches for Tuesday brawl

Brashear, teammate Brian Sutherby and Atlanta forward Scott Mellanby were each automatically suspended for one game and coaches Glen Hanlon of the Capitals and Bob Hartley of the Thrashers were fined US$30,000 and US$10,000, respectively, the league announced Thursday.

The disciplinary action pertained to a game Wednesday and was pursuant to a rule that states that “a player deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime, shall automatically be suspended for one game . . . in addition, the player’s coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.”

Brashear was suspended for an additional two games under a rule that allows the commissioner the discretion of tacking on additonal games. He will be eligible to return Nov. 30 against Dallas.

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Atlanta won the game 4-2, which was the score with 1:22 remaining when Atlanta defenceman Andy Sutton was penalized for a hard check along the boards.

Three fights broke out simultaneously. Brashear went afer Vitaly Vishnevski. The Thrashers defenceman resisted but Brashear kept hitting him and blood eventually flowed. Jon Erskine went after Atlanta forward Marian Hossa, while Matt Bradley fought Thrashers defenceman Greg de Vries.

On the next faceoff, Sutherby instigated a fight with Brad Larsen. On the ensuing faceoff, Mellanby instigated a fight with Jamie Heward.

The players’ suspension money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund while the coaches fines go to the NHL Foundation.