The Philadelphia Flyers sent suspended forward Steve Downie down to the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League on Saturday.
Downie, 20, was suspended by the NHL for 20 games on Friday for his hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in an exhibition game Tuesday night. The five-foot-10, 192-pound rookie received a match penalty, which carries an automatic indefinite suspension pending a league review.
The demotion makes Downie automatically ineligible to play for the Phantoms, although an AHL spokesman said Friday that the league could review the case.
Downie had an opportunity to make the Flyers' roster, and his NHL debut, after forwards Scottie Upshall, R.J. Umberger and Joffrey Lupul sustained injuries.
If Downie had started the season with the Flyers and served the full 20 games, he would have been eligible to return Nov. 23 against Washington. The next night, the Flyers face the Senators.
He will forfeit US$63,101.60 in salary.
Downie recorded a goal and 17 penalty minutes in four pre-season games for the Flyers.
Philadelphia's first round pick (29th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Downie recorded 35 goals and 57 assists for 92 points and 124 penalty minutes in 45 regular season games for the OHL's Peterborough Petes and Kitchener Rangers last season.
Downie helped Canada capture last year's world junior hockey championship in Sweden.