Hollweg to sit at least three games

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:30 PM ET

Ryan Hollweg will spend the next three games wearing civvies while watching his teammates play.

That decision comes courtesy of the league.

Should he not clean up his act after that, he'll spend plenty of more nights viewing games from the sidelines.

That decision will come courtesy of the Maple Leafs braintrust.

There is no doubt Hollweg feels relief today after NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell opted not to dump any additional punishment on the feisty winger for his wallpapering into the Air Canada Centre boards of St. Louis Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo during a 5-4 shootout loss Monday afternoon.

As it stands, Hollweg still must serve the automatic three-game suspension he received for being slapped with a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct, the fourth time he has committed such a foul since Jan. 5.

At the time of the Pietrangelo incident, Hollweg had just completed a two-game suspension for ramming the Blues' Jay McKee during an exhibition game 11 days earlier. His Leafs regular- season debut Monday lasted five shifts before he was given the heave ho for his actions.

General manager Cliff Fletcher said the coaches will have a heart-to-heart chat with Hollweg in the coming days, adding that, despite public pressure to the contrary, he is not about to be waived or released.

If he does not start to toe the line, however, Fletcher has a warning for the feisty forward.

"He's going to have to learn or he'll be watching a lot of games from the press box -- and not because he's suspended, either," Fletcher said last night.

"We need the energy he brings to the table. Our team needs that. We like it. He can be an asset. But we can not afford the luxury of trying to kill all those penalties. We have had difficulties killing penalties for more than a year now."

The Leafs, for the record, have allowed five goals in their past 13 short-handed situations.

From the get-go Fletcher maintained the call on Hollweg was "marginal," a stance he refused to back down from yesterday.

"Pietrangelo turned his head at first and saw Hollweg coming," Fletcher said.

Part of the reason the Leafs were irked at the penalty dates back to an incident that occurred during the team's 6-1 loss at the hands of the rival Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Team officials remain incredulous that no penalty was called when one of the Habs' talented Kostitsyn brothers pancaked Matt Stajan into the boards from behind.

"No doubt the Kostitsyn hit on Stajan was worse than the one by Hollweg," Fletcher said.

Hollweg's suspension means he will miss the opportunity to face his former team, the New York Rangers, at Madison Square Garden on Friday.


Videos

Photos