Ducks' Horcoff suspended for breaking NHL's PED rules
Anaheim Ducks' Shawn Horcoff celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP/Jae C. Hong)
Greg Beacham, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 26, 2016 1:34PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 26, 2016 3:48PM EST
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anaheim Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff was suspended for 20 games Tuesday for violating the terms of the NHL's performance-enhancing substances program.
The 37-year-old Horcoff acknowledged his mistake in a statement issued by the NHL Players' Association. He claimed he tried an unspecified treatment to speed up his recovery from an injury last fall.
"Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever," Horcoff said. "I should have done my research, and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program's doctors. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry."
Horcoff is the third player to be suspended under the program approved by the league and union in the most recent collective bargaining agreement. Zenon Konopka of the Buffalo Sabres and Carter Ashton of the Toronto Maple Leafs were suspended in 2014.
Horcoff will lose $357,526.88 of his $1.75 million salary during his suspension. The veteran forward is in his first season with the Ducks after 13 years in Edmonton and two more with Dallas.
Horcoff has six goals and four assists this season while playing in 45 of the Ducks' 46 games, providing solid veteran depth.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray signed Horcoff to a one-year deal in the off-season during a shakeup of his roster. Anaheim finished one game short of the Stanley Cup Final last season, losing Game 7 of the Western Conference finals at home to eventual champion Chicago.
"The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program," Murray said in a statement. "We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process."
The Ducks were in Boston on Tuesday for their final game before the All-Star break. Anaheim has made a 9-3-1 run since Christmas to return to playoff contention after a dismal start to the season.
Horcoff was the Oilers' captain for three years, and he scored a career-high 73 points during the 2005-06 season. He was an All-Star in 2008.
Horcoff would be eligible to return to Anaheim's lineup March 11 for a road game against St. Louis under the Ducks' current schedule. Anaheim also must make up a game postponed last week in Washington due to a snowstorm.
"Throughout my entire career, I have felt genuinely blessed and honoured to play the great game of hockey, and I regret the impact that this may have on my team and our fans," Horcoff added. "I look forward to the day I return to the ice for the playoff push."
Horcoff's absence could create more playing time for Mike Santorelli or new acquisition Ryan Garbutt.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington contributed to this report.