Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/19/13
Coyotes enforcer Paul Bissonnette is appealing the 10-game suspension he was issued Monday by the NHL for leaving the bench in an illegal line change during an altercation in Sunday’s preseason game at Jobing.com Arena against the Los Angeles Kings. Bissonnette’s agent Mark Guy confirmed the decision. In the first period of Sunday’s game defenseman Rusty Klesla was leveled with an open-ice body check from Kings center Jordan Nolan and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. After that Nolan became an easy target for the Coyotes and center Martin Hanzal elbowed Nolan along the boards later in the period. A scrum ensued and that’s when Bissonnette made an illegal line change coming off the bench before a teammate returned to it to join the action. He was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench and that triggers an automatic 10-game suspension. The appeal process was revamped under the new collective bargaining agreement. An appeal first will be heard by Commissioner Gary Bettman but now players who’ve been suspended six or more games have the option to appeal that decision to a neutral arbitrator. If the suspension stands Bissonnette will start serving it in the regular season. He would forfeit $37820.51 in salary and would be eligible to return to the lineup Oct. 24 when the Coyotes are in Los Angeles to play the Kings. Bissonnette is allowed to continue to participate in preseason games. “We’re gonna keep pushing like he’s a normal player” coach Dave Tippett said.
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