League suspends Pred

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

The Nashville Predators will be without forward Scott Nichol when they face off against the Maple Leafs tonight at the Air Canada Centre.

Nichol has been suspended for five games, without pay, for an incident involving Montreal Canadiens defenceman Patrice Brisebois during the Preds 5-4 shootout victory over the Habs at the Bell Centre on Saturday.

Nichol was assessed a double minor for high-sticking Brisebois in the second period.

"The cross-check by Mr. Nichol to the head area of his opponent was reckless and dangerous," NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said in a statement. "Although no serious injury resulted, the action is unacceptable."

Nichol, who was suspended nine games for an incident 12 games ago, is now considered a repeat offender under terms of the collective bargaining agreement. He forfeits $45,731.70 in salary, which goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance fund.

WASAGA BURNS

Preds forward Jason Arnott, a native of Wasaga Beach, is still hoping to learn answers about the cause of the horrible fire that burned much of the town's boardwalk strip late last week.

"I still haven't heard the whole story," Arnott said. "At one point, I heard they couldn't control it."

Arnott's parents and sister still live in Wasaga Beach and came away unscathed according to Jason.

LOOSE LEAFS

A week after being shredded by media and fans alike, general manager John Ferguson has watched his three primary off-season pick ups start to get on a roll.Vesa Toskala has won two consecutive games; Mark Bell scored his first goal as a Leaf Saturday; and Jason Blake seems to have regained his touch around the net ... While coach Paul Maurice would not commit to reuniting Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle again once Kubina returns to the lineup, he did say the two men played well together earlier in the season ... Jiri Tlusty (shoulder) took part in a full practice and hopes to return soon, although Maurice figures he is unlikey to play tonight.


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