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Hockey's Ron Artest Gets Suspended

Like everyone else who follows the Caps, I'm trying to figure out a way to get to Hershey for the Calder Cup Finals. Well, everyone except Kip Brennan, the Hershey forward, who won't be permitted to punch fans in the face for at least the next coupla weeks. Proving yet again that the Ron Artest uproar was the height of bogus pandering by the media, Brennan got what amounts to, at most, an eight-game suspension for squaring off with a fan, in the stands, during the Eastern Conference finals.

At this point, you'd think hockey players would try to preserve every U.S. fan they've got, although punching them in the face is perhaps a cutting-edge marketing strategy I'm just not familiar with. Anyhow, whether our children will ever recover from this example of ill sportsmanship has yet to be determined. And in any case, dude sounds like a peaceable sort, which is why I'm sure that, like his coach says, he actually had nothing to do with fight in which he fought:

"We were chirping back and forth, and the fan took it too far," Brennan said after the game. "It happened. I'm glad it got broken up and that no one got hurt."

Hershey coach Bruce Boudreau said the fan was to blame for the incident.

"That guy made a mistake," Boudreau said. "I don't think Kip was doing something. I've got to think that guy initiated the whole thing."

Brennan, 26, was suspended seven games by the ECHL in November after he was involved in a bench-clearing brawl in his first game with the Long Beach Ice Dogs.

The six-foot-four, 222-pounder charged out of the penalty box at the end of a loss to Phoenix and took on several Roadrunner players.

Anyhow, Brennan might not be able to play against Hamilton, and that Manchester fan probably won't be involved either, but at least one of their spirits will continue to have an impact. This is what his coach said: "You know the one thing about Kip is he'll still be there in spirit. He'll still play a very important role. He'll still be a part of our team."

I'm just hoping his spirit doesn't punch me.

Bears' Brennan Banned for Series [Penn Live]
That Pane of Plexi May Have Saved This Guy's Life [Japers' Rink]
Hershey's Kip Brennan Fights Fan From Penalty Box [Sidearm Delivery]
Speculation on what prompted the incident [AHL Boards]

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 29, 2007; 8:57 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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