AHL suspends C Downie 20 games for abuse of official

Mar 5, 2009 - 11:41 PM By PA SportsTicker

The American Hockey League on Thursday suspended center Steve Downie for 20 games for his actions in a game on February 28.

The former Tampa Bay Lightning player who now suits up for Norfolk Admirals, Downie was assessed a game misconduct for slashing linesman Mike Hamilton in the shin prior to a faceoff against the Hershey Bears.

Norfolk general manager Mike Butters told the St. Petersburg Times recently that Downie was attempting to hit a Hershey player and missed.

"I am absolutely sure there was no intent whatsoever for any aggressive actions toward the official," Butters told the newspaper.

Drafted 29th overall in 2005 by the Philadelphia Flyers, Downie was suspended 20 games by the NHL in October 2007 for delivering a hit to the head of Ottawa Senators left wing Dean McAmmond in a preseason game.

Butters feels that Downie's reputation may have played a role in the penalty.

"It was clearly an emotional moment when I think the official may have overreacted," Butters told the paper.

Downie has three goals and three assists in 29 NHL games with the Flyers and Lightning.

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