Saturday, April 21, 2007

Welcome to the club...

Islanders defenceman Sean Hill was hit with a 20-game suspension by the NHL on Friday - just hours before New York was eliminated from the playoffs - for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances program.

That was the lede in a wire story report on the news of the suspension of Sean Hill for violation of the league's "performance enhancing" substances program.

The Peerless is wondering -- as he is sure others are -- who's performance was enhanced as a result? Surely not the Islanders, who lost that elimination game after falling into a 3-0 hole half-way through the contest. And one would think that if Hill wasn't dressed, he'd have no performance to "enhance." It didn't help Drew Fata, the unfortunate replacement for Hill, who was a minus-2 in his six minutes of effort.

Well, maybe the enhancement provided just enough enhancement to his performance to permit the Islanders, who won their last four games to sneak into the eighth spot in the East (although Hill was a -1 combined in those four games, with no points, in averaging more than 18-and-a-half minutes a game).

The nature of the violation was not disclosed, but whatever...Hill is the first player suspended under the league's program. His 20-game suspension will carry into next year, but as the wire stories report, where that will be is uncertain. He is an unrestricted free agent.

A 36-year-old defenseman with 19 games of a suspension to serve. Will there be takers?

We're betting there will be, and that'll be a first, too.

Congratulations, NHL. Welcome to the're an official modern professional sports league.

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