Statement Regarding the Suspension of Right Wing Steve Downie
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning support the Norfolk Admirals in appealing the 20-game suspension handed down to right wing Steve Downie for his actions in a game against the Hershey Bears on February 28. The Lightning have requested that the American Hockey League consider additional evidence in the matter and request that the player receive a modicum of due process before a final decision is rendered.
Downie was suspended indefinitely immediately following the game and he has served three games under that indefinite suspension to this point. He was assessed a game misconduct under the provisions of AHL Rule 41.2 (Category 1) for deliberately striking an official with his stick. Downie bruised the shin of linesman Mike Hamilton on a center ice face-off at the 19:48 mark of the third period following a Hershey goal near the end of the game. To clarify public reports, the player struck the official (during the course of play) with the follow through of his stick after winning a face-off against Hershey’s Andrew Joudrey.
The club understands Downie remains on indefinite suspension, pending the appeal, and it will have no further comment on this matter until its resolution.