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NHL Suspends Three Ducks

The injury to Dallas Stars captain Mike Modano will cost the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Defenseman Ruslan Salei, who cross-checked Modano from behind into the boards during the second period of Saturday's game, was suspended 10 games without pay by the NHL Tuesday.

Also suspended for different actions in the same game were Mighty Ducks defenseman Pascal Trepanier for five games, and forward Jim McKenzie for four.

Modano sustained injuries to his head, face and neck after his head hit the boards, and is out indefinitely.

"This was a dangerous act by Mr. Salei against an opponent who was in a vulnerable position and unable to defend himself," said Colin Campbell, NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations. "Everyone connected with hockey knows that a hit or a push from behind on a player is an extremely dangerous play and can result in serious injury. We were fortunate that Mr. Modano was not more severely injured."

Salei's suspension began Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. He will forfeit $109,756 in salary and will be eligible to return on Oct. 29 against the Washington Capitals.

Trepanier was suspended for hitting Dallas center Joe Nieuwendyk with an elbow to the head midway through the third period.

"Our stance against hits to the head remains very much in place," Campbell said. "Such behavior will not be tolerated."

McKenzie was suspended for initiating an altercation with Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor, and persisting although Sydor offered no resistance and was defenseless.

Nieuwendyk returned to play against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, but Sydor remained out indefinitely with a fractured eye socket.

Salei's suspension wasn't even close to the NHL record.

The longest suspension for an on-ice infraction was 21 games given to Washington's Dale Hunter for a late hit on a celebrating Pierre Turgeon after Turgeon scored against the Capitals during the 1993 playoffs.

Tom Lysiak of the Chicago Blackhawks was suspended 20 games in 1983 for intentionally tripping an official. Three players others have received 15-game suspensions.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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