The National Hockey League suspended San Jose Sharks winger Ryane Clowe for two games without pay Monday for leaving the bench and starting an altercation with the Chicago Blackhawk’s Andrew Shaw after the latter had delivered a crunching hit on the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski.
Clowe,the 32-year-old native of Fermeuse, received a roughing minor and game misconduct as the result of the altercation, which happened with just 8.4 seconds remaining in Chicago’s 2-1 win Friday night.
Leaving the bench on an illegal line change normally carries an automatic 10-game suspension. However, while the league determined Clowe did come off the bench and immediately confronted Shaw after he stepped on the ice, it was also ruled the incident began during a legal line change.
In his report, Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's vice-president of player safety, said that with San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi pulled for an extra attacker, Clowe was identified by Sharks’ head coach Todd McLellan as the next player off the bench should any of his teammates come off.
Shanahan went on to say Pavelski was at the end of his shift, having been on the ice for a minute and eight seconds, and was skating towards the door of the San Jose bench.
Clowe had a teleconference with Shanahan Monday after waiving his right to an in-person supplemental disciplinary hearing.
Clowe will forfeit US$39,189.18 in salary, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Since Clowe was suspended pending the hearing and sat out San Jose’s 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, he will only miss one more game— the Sharks’ meeting tonight with Colorado.
Clowe has no goals, six assists and a team-leading 68 penalty minutes through 16 games this season.