Zack Fitzgerald has been suspended for two games after a one-sided attack on debutant Sheffield Steeler Danny Bois, last night.
The ex NHL and current Braehead Clan man paired off with Bois at the end of a period last night, during a game which Steelers won 2-0 to go top of the table.
Fitzgerald,29, started the punch up by shaking Bois vigorously as they held on to each other’s shirts, near the boards.
Bois seemed to be under orders not to fight, or was at any rate disinclined, yet the Braehead man was not to be put off and landed a straight right on his chin.
He followed that with a sweeping left cross.
Belatedly Sheffield’s Bois, who had flown into the UK and seven hours later had hopped on the team bus from South Yorkshire, tried to land a blow back on the American.
But he was hit simultaneously by another left hand, and went down, looking unstable when he returned to standing position, to be supported by a team-mate.
Steelers felt it was clear that Canadian Bois, 31, was not going to fight and was taken advantage of by the one-game Vancouver Canucks player.
Clan coach and former Sheffield boss Ryan Finnerty didn’t want to lose his man to suspension, especially after his side has slipped to three straight losses.
Finnerty will certainly want to know why Bois apparently chose not to defend himself.
A League statement read: “Braehead’s Roehl instigates the altercation at the end of the period. Fitzgerald has no need to join this altercation and both coaches need to control all of the players at all times.
“Fitzgerald is clearly the aggressor of the situation with Bois, throwing multiple punches attempting to inflict punishment on Bois.
“He continues to throw punches when Bois is defenceless and unable to protect himself.
“Despite the pairing up of Fitzgerald and Bois from the original altercation, Bois is an unwilling combatant.
“The fight is considered a one-man fight.
“There is an apparent injury to Bois as a result of this and he took no further part in the game.
“The Department of Player Safety has suspended Fitzgerald for two games.”
Steelers signed Bois earlier this week; his last team was German side EHC München.