Hockey

NHL suspends Havlat 5 games

The NHL slapped Ottawa Senators forward Martin Havlat with a five-game suspension Monday for kicking Boston Bruins defenceman Hal Gill.

The 24-year-old winger kicked Gill after being knocked into the back of the net by Gill during the second period of Ottawa's 5-1 home victory on Saturday.

Although he did not receive a penalty on the play and Gill was not hurt, the NHL's hockey operations department reviewed the incident and the league decided to hand Havlat the suspension.

"One of the factors in reaching this decision is the fact that Mr. Havlat was assessed supplementary discipline on three occasions during a two-month period in 2003-04, including a two-game suspension for a kicking incident," NHL executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement.

This is not the first time the Senators forward has been suspended for kicking an opposing player.

Havlat received a two-game suspension from the NHL for kicking defenceman Eric Cairns when he played for the New York Islanders during the 2003-04 season.

That same season, he was hit with another two-game suspension for high-sticking Mark Recchi during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Havlat will lose $66,326.55 US in pay for the suspension with the money being donated to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

He will miss Friday's game at Tampa Bay and won't be eligible to return until Oct. 30 against Philadelphia.