The NHL has suspended Flyers forward Danny Briere three games after he swung his stick at the Islanders Franz Nielson last Friday night. You can see video of the incident in this stream. This is not Briere’s first run in with the NHL law, which according to CSN’s Tim Pannacio is a reason for the length of his suspension.
The incident didn’t deserve three games, but that is the price a player pays for being a repeat offender.
Perhaps not coincidently, Briere will miss next Sunday’s rematch with the Islanders. The threat of possible retaliation could have played into the NHL’s decision. Briere explained the incident after the game.
[Nielsen] was mad because we were two on Gillies in front of the net a few faceoffs before and all I was trying to do was hold his arm because he was trying to hit Coburn, and obviously, we didn’t want anybody fighting Gillies. We wanted to leave him on the ice. So all I was trying to do was hold his arm to protect Coburn a bit. [On the faceoff with 1:02 left] Nielsen called me a few expletive words and didn’t appreciate that I was doing that and the faceoff before he did the same thing to me. He came over with his stick, had me in a head lock. So I didn’t know what he was doing. I just wanted to keep my hands high and try to protect myself.
To replace Briere, the Flyers have called up 21-year-old Eric Wellwood from the Phantoms.