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Steve Downie Attacks Referee, Adds to Long List of Trouble-Making

Mar 1, 2009 – 11:05 AM
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Adam Gretz

Adam Gretz %BloggerTitle%

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Steve Downie is certainly no stranger to controversy, as the 21-year-old forward has been suspended multiple times in his young career for various acts of idiocy.

On Saturday, Downie, currently playing for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, decided it had been too long since he did something ridiculous and was given a game misconduct during a game against the Hershey Bears for "physical abuse of an official." He's facing a 20-game suspension as a result.

Here's a brief recap from the Hershey Bears website:
With the BEARS leading 5-4, Chris Bourque was tackled from behind as he tried to shoot into the empty net, and was credited with his 15th goal at 19:46 although the puck never entered the net. HERSHEY took a 6-4 lead on the goal and essentially clinched the victory. Norfolk forward Steve Downie then returned to center ice for the face-off and slashed linesman Mike Hamilton across the right shin. Referee Jeff Smith assessed a game misconduct on Downie for physical abuse of officials under ruler 41.2 category one. The ruling calls for an automatic 20-game suspension. Norfolk has just 21 games remaining.
Assuming the ruling does, in fact, call for a 20-game suspension, this will be the second 20-game suspension of Downie's career. In September, 2007, Downie received a 20-game banishment for launching himself at an unsuspecting Dean McAmmond in a preseason game.

Earlier this season, Downie was suspended three games for hitting Kyle McLaren from behind, and his resume of borderline plays is an impressive one. Some examples:

-- Steve Downie punches Jason Blake in the eye

-- Steve Downie melts down during his junior hockey days

The Lightning acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers earlier this season, along with defenseman Steve Eminger, in exchange for defenseman Matt Carle. If Carle never does anything for the rest of his career, it's still a great trade for the Flyers simply because they no longer have to deal with Downie.
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