'I can't change anything'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

For kicking Boston Bruins defenceman Hal Gill, Senators forward Martin Havlat got the boot for five games.

Havlat, a repeat offender in the NHL's bad books, was suspended by the league yesterday and will sacrifice $66,326.55 U.S. in pay while sitting out games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. He is eligible to return Oct. 30 when the Senators host Philadelphia.

"I have nothing to say. I can't change anything," said Havlat, who wasn't exactly making apologies. "There's no place in hockey for kicking. It doesn't matter what I say now, five games is five games."

Havlat was suspended a total of four games in 2004, two for kicking Eric Cairns of the New York Islanders in the groin and docked another deuce for a slash to the head of Flyers forward Mark Recchi. He was also fined $1,000 for hitting Florida's Byron Ritchie with his stick in 2003.

"History is always important and I don't think you should ever kick in this league. I agree that when you do, you pay the price for it, but this is an extreme price," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "Using your skate is a problem, no question."

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said Havlat pretty much got what he deserved.

"We kind of expected him to be suspended. Kicking has no part in this game," said Alfredsson. "I understand the suspension. It's tough. Things happen so quick, but you shouldn't kick anyone. I think he realizes his mistake and I don't think you will see him do that again."

Murray said he wasn't happy with the attention the play got from Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry. Murray said he believed it was a factor in the league taking action.

Murray also wondered why Gill wasn't penalized .

After taking a couple of shots, Havlat made the kicking motion. Ottawa winger Chris Neil then arrived on the scene and went after Gill.

Gill suffered a "raspberry," as he put it, on the play.

"It's a severe suspension, five games. Marty is going to be a big loss to our hockey club," said Senators GM John Muckler, "but having said that, there's no place in hockey for kicking. I'm very sure that Marty is very sorry it happened. I don't think he intended to injure anybody."


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