Ducks’ Horcoff suspended 20 games by NHL: ‘I am sorry’

Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler each scored in the third period to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.

Anaheim Ducks centre Shawn Horcoff has been suspended 20 games by the National Hockey League for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

“This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff. The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program,” stated Bob Murray, the Ducks executive vice president and general manager. “We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process.”

As mandated by the collective bargaining agreement, the suspension is accompanied by mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.

Based on his average annual salary, Horcoff will forfeit $357,526.88.

“While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process," Horcoff stated, via the NHLPA.

"Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever. 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.

"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.

"I look forward to the day I return to the ice for the playoff push.”

In 45 games with the Ducks this season, the 37-year-old Horcoff has six goals, four assists and 30 penalty minutes.

Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1998, the native of Trail, B.C., needs just six more appearances to reach 1,000 games played over his 16-year NHL career.

Both the NHL and the Ducks said they would have no further comment on the matter.