Carcillo was suspended last month for physically abusing an
official during a playoff game but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
decided to reduce the penalty after holding a hearing with the
player in New York on Friday.
"I'm just happy I could say my piece and be a part of it, say my
side of the story," Carcillo told reporters at Staples Center on
Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals
against the Los Angeles Kings.
"I think he took it into account, and Gary was great. The league was
Carcillo's initial ban resulted after he was assessed a game
misconduct penalty under Rule 40.3, "Physical Abuse of Officials,"
the league said in a statement.
The 29-year-old left wing physically applied force to linesman Scott
Driscoll while being escorted to the penalty box late in the first
period of New York's 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on
"Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official
in any manner ... without intent to injure, or who spits on an
official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than 10
games," the NHL said at the time.
However, Bettman on Tuesday ruled that Carcillo's actions "were more
appropriately deemed a violation of Rule 40.4 for deliberately
applying physical force to an official for the sole purpose of
getting free of such official during or immediately following an
Bettman said in a statement: "The National Hockey League does not
and will not, under any circumstances, tolerate or condone the
abuse, physical or otherwise, of our on-ice officials.
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"The strict and proper enforcement of Rule 40, therefore, plays a
critical role in safeguarding the integrity of the game by
maintaining a safe and respectful working environment for our
Carcillo has already served three games of his original suspension,
and therefore would be eligible to return for Game Four of the
Stanley Cup Finals, in New York on June 11.
Carcillo, who has played for five different teams in the league, has
scored two goals for the Rangers in eight playoff games this year.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)
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