Trevor Gillies explains actions after AHL doles out 12-game ban
"I still have to bring a physical game because that's what I do, but I definitely have to tweak it a little bit.”
“I know what I have to do -- keep it clean and still bring that physical element -- but ultimately play within the rules.”
Those were comments made by Trevor Gillies to Newsday, then of the New York Islanders, in 2011. They were made upon his return from a nine-game suspension after his part in the infamous brawl with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In his first game back, he played four shifts and was ejected after a elbow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck, which would earn him a 10-game ban.
Fast forward three years later and we're hearing some of the same from Gillies after another controversial incident.
On Monday, Gillies was handed another double-digit suspension, this time by the AHL. Now playing for the Adirondack Flames, the 35-year old forward gooned it up with William Carrier of the Rochester Americans over the weekend, slamming the young Buffalo Sabres prospect’s head into the ice when it was clear he didn’t want to fight.
Over the weekend, Gillies released a Facebook statement apologizing for his actions:
"I would like to apologize to my family back home for embarrassing the family name. To my teammates and the organization and the fans in the hockey community. I crossed the line. Thankfully the kid is okay. I'm not taking this lightly or easily and promise it won't happen again. If you want to bash me I get it. I will just take my medicine with no response. Again I'm truly sorry Gillies”
On Monday, the AHL announced they had suspended Gillies for 12 games; and again, Gillies threw out his usual "make sure this doesn't happen again" line, this time to Diana Nearhos of the Post-Star. He also explained just exactly what he was doing with Carrier's head.
"I definitely wasn't trying to smack his head off the ice," Gillies said. "I was trying to pick him up and once I realized that he wasn't fighting back, something clicked in my head that I was doing something wrong and I put him back down. I'd rather not discuss it; I apologized to the kid on Facebook and I feel bad about it. It's something that I'm going to have to man up and accept my punishment."
Gillies isn't eligible to return to the Flames' lineup until Nov. 15, when he'll discover the absence of mascot, Scorch, who was "extinguished" by the team on Tuesday.
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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy