Mad Mair might face ban

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

OCALA, FLA. -- Chris Neil had a few shots of his own for Buffalo's Adam Mair yesterday.

While Neil wasn't in the hallway when Mair came charging out of the Buffalo dressing room late in Ottawa's 5-2 victory Monday at HSBC Arena, the Senators winger reiterated he wished he had been around.

"I didn't know he came after me until after (the game), when a couple of the guys told me he had come down there," said Neil. "I had used him as a punching bag before and that was the only thing I said to him. He didn't like that too much. We ended up both getting (misconducts). It would have been nice (to be there)."

A NHL source told Sun Media that NHL VP Colin Campbell is reviewing the incident and Mair is facing a suspension for coming out of the Sabres dressing room and trying to get at Neil.

The incident was caught on tape by the NHL Network, which broadcast the game.

Not only did Senators winger Jarkko Ruutu emerge from the dressing room to speak with Mair, Phil Legault, Ottawa's VP of communications, also had to step between Ruutu and Mair. Ruutu had picked up a double-minor with less than two minutes to go in the game, so he was already in the dressing room.

The enraged Mair then started screaming at Senators defenceman Luke Richardson, who was a healthy scratch and happened to be in the area.

"(Neil's) running around jumping everybody. He won't even fight his own battles that guy. He's a (bleeping) joke. You gotta protect that guy all year, Luke. You know he's a joke," Mair said in the video.

LONG-RUNNING FEUD

Mair and Neil have had a feud that dates back to their days in the OHL. Neil, 29, was with the North Bay Centennials when Mair, 29, skated for the Owen Sound Platers. They fought several times during their junior days and the feud has carried over to the NHL.

But Mair has been suspended before for allowing Neil to get under his skin. While playing for the Kings in 2001, Mair received a 10-game ban for leaving the bench to fight Neil when Neil was involved in another altercation.

"I guess he doesn't like getting a paycheque," said Neil.

Ruutu was surprised to hear the yelling in the hallway and went outside to see what was going on.

"I was in the room and I heard somebody calling for Neiler," said Ruutu. "I saw it was Mair and I just asked him what he wanted. I can't really say what he said, but I just told him to beat it. Then he grabbed me and (Legault) came in between us. That was the end of it. Nothing really happened."

Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said Mair needs to be dealt with by the league.

"They have to look into it and I'm sure they will. To be running down the hallway after the other team is not a good thing," said Hartsburg. "They'll review it all and the right thing will be done. But it's obviously not a good situation."

The Sabres were off yesterday and Mair left the rink late Monday without speaking to reporters. He will likely have to spend part of this morning explaining himself to Campbell.


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