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Ducks' Chris Pronger suspended 8 games for stomping on leg of Canucks' Ryan Kesler

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO (AP) -Anaheim's Chris Pronger was suspended eight games without pay Saturday by the NHL for stomping on the leg of Vancouver's Ryan Kesler.

It's the eighth career suspension for Pronger, who will miss the game against St. Louis on Saturday night. He'll be eligible to return April 6 for the regular-season finale at home against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The altercation occurred in the 4-1 win against the Canucks on Wednesday night when Pronger and Kesler became tangled behind the Vancouver net. As Pronger turned to head back up ice, replays show him stepping on Kesler's leg as the Canucks forward lay on the ice.

No penalty was called on the play. The NHL said a proper video angle wasn't available until Thursday night.

Pronger will forfeit $609,756 in salary, with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

"I'd like to apologize to Ryan Kesler, the Vancouver Canucks, my teammates and the National Hockey League for my actions last Wednesday night," Pronger said in a statement on the Ducks' Web site. "While I did not intend to injure Ryan, I respect the league's decision on this matter and look forward to returning to the ice and leading my teammates into the playoffs."

Pronger's most recent ban of one game came during the Stanley Cup final with Ottawa in June when he elbowed Dean McAmmond in the head.

Earlier this season, the NHL suspended Minnesota's Chris Simon 30 games for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu.

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