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Sean Leahy

Eager's sucker punch on Armstrong earns him four-game ban

Sean Leahy
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Craig Custance of the Sporting News reports that Ben Eager(notes) of the Atlanta Thrashers has been suspended one game for each of the goals his team allowed because of his sucker punch on Colby Armstrong(notes) of the Toronto Maple Leafs. OK, Colin Campbell didn't hand out the suspension with consideration to how many goals were scored during Eager's match penalty last night (Eager has himself a nice history spinning the Wheel of Justice, anyway), but four games for this seems about right:

The postgame was filled with Eager and Armstrong exchanging pleasantries to one another through the media. Armstrong dubbed Eager a "meat head", while Eager volleyed back reminding Armstrong about a thing called karma:

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

“[Armstrong’s] one of the biggest phonies in the league,” Eager said. “He’s done his fair share of dirty stuff in the league and he’ll never answer the bell. What goes around, comes around. I’m sure some day someone will catch him with his head down.”

Tom Kostopoulos(notes) of the Calgary Flames will likely be next on the suspension docket after his head hit on Brad Stuart(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings last night that broke the veteran defenseman's jaw. On that, Custance is reporting that the NHL has requested a medical report on Stuart as he'll miss the next six-to-eight weeks.

UPDATE: Eager spoke with Chris Vivlamore of the AJC after hearing about the suspension:

“I’m surprised in one way, but there is no parity in these suspensions that are handed out,” Eager said following Saturday’s practice. “The last two incidents I’ve seen, they knocked a guy out with no glove on and get no fine. The [Milan] Lucic incident [against Thrashers defenseman Freddy Meyer(notes)] he suckers a guy that’s now even looking with no glove on he gets fined $2,500. Then Jody Shelley(notes) does the same thing to a guy who is watching and he gets two games. I get four somehow for hitting a guy with my glove on, that is looking right in my face. We are looking eye to eye. I guess [NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell] wanted a quiet weekend. He didn’t want the Toronto media calling him all weekend. He did what he had to do.

“It is what it is. It’s four games. I will deal with it and move on.”

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