TORONTO (AP) - Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien was suspended indefinitely Wednesday pending a hearing for grabbing a fan while heading to the locker room in the game against Minnesota.
Rypien was on the way to the visiting locker room in Minnesota on Tuesday night after being assessed a double minor for roughing and 10-minute misconduct in the second period. Rypien reached up and shoved a Wild fan who was applauding at the railing.
He was pulled away by teammate Manny Malhotra and the fan was removed from the area.
Rypien and Minnesota's Brad Staubitz, who fought in the opening period, were about to square off at 13:38 of the second period before being separated by the linesmen in front of the Wild bench. Rypien punched Staubitz while he was being restrained.
Rypien was in the penalty box to start the third period, but did not get any ice time. Minnesota won 6-2.
After the hearing, the NHL will determine the length of the suspension. Players can be suspended for five games or more if they are summoned for a hearing, although that does not mean they will be banned for that long.
The league has handed out five suspensions and four fines in the past 10 days.
The Canucks visit Chicago on Wednesday night.