NHL suspends Eager 4 games for punch
Ben Eager of the Atlanta Thrashers was suspended for four games by the NHL on Saturday for punching Colby Armstrong in Friday night's game.
Eager punched the unsuspecting Toronto Maple Leafs player in the second period during a stoppage. He was given a match penalty for attempt to injure, and Toronto went on to score four power-play goals as a result, in a 9-3 rout.
Eager has three goals and four assists in 34 games and 77 penalty minutes in his first season with the Thrashers. He came over to Atlanta along with Dustin Byfuglien and Brent Sopel in the multi-player deal with Chicago, weeks after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.
He has racked up 698 penalty minutes in 289 career NHL games.
With Atlanta enjoying several days off in the next two weeks, Eager won't be eligible return until a Jan. 20 home game against Tampa Bay.
In addition to sitting out, Eager will forfeit just under $21,000 US in earnings.
Eager was twice suspended for three game spans during the 2008-09 season while with Chicago. The first was for swinging his stick at Sean Avery, who was playing for Dallas. Later in the season, Eager was banned for elbowing Liam Reddox of the Edmonton Oilers in the head.