Anaheim Ducks winger Shawn Horcoff has been handed a 20-game suspension by the NHL for violating the NHL/NHLPA’s performance enhancing substance program.
The NHL released a statement Tuesday adding that Horcoff’s suspension is “accompanied by mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.” Horcoff’s suspension will be without pay, and the 37-year-old will lose $357,526.88 in salary.
There has not yet been comment from Horcoff, but Ducks GM Bob Murray released a statement Tuesday saying the team learned about the situation earlier in the day.
“This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff,” Murray said in the statement. “The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process.”
Both the Ducks and the NHL said they would not comment further on the matter.
Horcoff released a statement via the NHLPA Tuesday and said he used a treatment he thought would speed his recovery process following an injury during the fall.
"Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever," the statement reads. "I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA's Performance Enhancing Substances Program's doctors. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry."
Horcoff added that he has been honored to play in the NHL and said he regrets the impact his suspension may have on the Ducks and their fans. Horcoff's statement concluded with him saying he looks, "forward to the day I return to the ice for the playoff push."
Horcoff is the first player to be suspended for violating the Performance Enhancing Substances Program this season. In 2014-15, two players, Zenon Konopka and Carter Ashton, were suspended for violating the program.
The Ducks signed Horcoff in the off-season to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. Horcoff had played the previous two seasons with the Stars, but Dallas chose not to re-sign the veteran after he posted 18 goals and 49 points in 153 games with the team. In his first season with Anaheim, Horcoff has scored six goals and 10 points in 45 games. Due to the suspension, he will be ineligible to return to the Anaheim lineup until March 11 against the St. Louis Blues.
Horcoff is six games away from reaching 1,000 in his career, and has scored 186 goals and 506 points over his 15 seasons in the NHL.