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Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette has 10-game suspension cut to 3

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 7:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette has 10-game suspension cut to 3

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Paul Bissonnette's suspension for leaving the bench to enter an altercation was reduced from 10 regular-season games to three because of a lack of sufficient video evidence, the NHL announced.

The Phoenix Coyotes enforcer was given an automatic 10-game suspension for going after Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan after his hit on Rostislav Klesla in their pre-season game Sept. 15.

Bissonnette contended that he replaced Coyotes prospect Max Domi on the ice, and because it was a pre-season game there wasn't video that showed that was inaccurate. No on-ice officials could definitively say otherwise, according to the league.

"Given the totality of these circumstances, including the lack of conclusive video evidence, and Bissonnette’s credible assertions regarding the intended legality of his substitution for Domi at the time, the league has decided not to apply the 10-game automatic suspension to Bissonnette," the NHL said in a press release announcing the change.

The NHLPA had filed an appeal on Bissonnette's behalf, but that was withdrawn after the league decided to reduce the suspension.

Bissonnette did not have the ban wiped out entirely because the NHL said he "must bear some responsibility" for sparking a fight.

The 28-year-old tough guy will now forfeit US$11,346.15 instead of $37,820.51.

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I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday