Hath­away await­ing ban for spit­ting

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports - STEPHEN WHYNO THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

AR­LING­TON, VA.—Gar­net Hath­away was ejected for spit­ting on an op­po­nent and now the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals winger may have to swal­low more pun­ish­ment from the NHL.

Hath­away was given a match penalty for spit­ting on Ana­heim Ducks de­fence­man Erik Gud­bran­son in a brawl dur­ing the Cap­i­tals’ 5-2 vic­tory Mon­day. That car­ries with it an au­to­matic sus­pen­sion pend­ing a re­view by the NHL, and it is likely the Cap­i­tals won’t have Hath­away in the lineup Wed­nes­day night in New York against the Rangers.

There is lit­tle prece­dent for Hath­away’s ac­tions, other than the part of the rule book that deems it wor­thy of an ejec­tion and the league’s process of hav­ing its hockey op­er­a­tions depart­ment re­view each match penalty. Bos­ton’s Brad Marc­hand was warned dur­ing the play­offs last spring about lick­ing op­po­nents but wasn’t sus­pended.

A de­ci­sion from the league’s hockey op­er­a­tions depart­ment could come as late as Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“You never want to sit and leave guys hang­ing and not be able to help out,” Hath­away said. “It would be un­for­tu­nate if I wasn’t (play­ing), but they are a team that can han­dle them­selves and not wor­ried about them in the out­comes of games.”

A day af­ter draw­ing scorn from Gud­bran­son and the Ducks and gen­er­at­ing buzz for spit­ting, Hath­away re­it­er­ated his re­morse about the in­ci­dent that took place late in the sec­ond pe­riod.

“I re­gret do­ing it,” Hath­away said. “I didn’t have any arms free and made an emo­tional de­ci­sion that I wish I didn’t, but right now I am try­ing to move on from it and there is noth­ing that I can do but apol­o­gize.”

Hath­away has been a strong ad­di­tion for the Cap­i­tals, putting up two goals and five as­sists and adding some grit that was miss­ing last sea­son. Now they’ll likely have to com­pen­sate for his ab­sence for at least a game, if not longer.

“I don’t think any­one needs to step up and be Gar­net Hath­away,” for­ward Travis Boyd said. “We got guys who will do that stuff. Maybe some­one has to pick up a lit­tle bit of phys­i­cal­ity for the night, or some­one else has to go out there and get a cou­ple of hits.

“Ul­ti­mately, we’ll see what hap­pens with him, and we’ll hope to get him back as soon as we can.”

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