Anaheim Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff has been suspended 20 games by the NHL for the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), the league announced on Tuesday.
The NHL offered little comment on the situation, just noting that his suspension will come with a “mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.”
Horcoff will also not be paid during his suspension. That’s a loss of $357,526.88 in salary.
The 37-year-old Horcoff has six goals and 10 points through 45 games for the Ducks. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, currently finishing out a one-year deal that pays him $1.75 million.
The 20-game ban without pay is the standard punishment for failing a PED test the first time. A second failed test results in a 60-game ban without pay and the third strike sees a player take a “permanent suspension.” Any player getting the third penalty there is eligible for reinstatement in the league after being out for two years after having a motion to rejoin the league considered by a “NHLPA/NHL Committee on Performance Enhancing Substances.”
Horcoff isn’t the first player in to get a 20-game ban for PED use. Maple Leafs prospect Carter Ashton got it last year and Buffalo Sabres center Zenon Konopka got 20 games the year before that.
The 20-game suspension will have Horcoff back for the tailed of the Ducks’ stretch run.
Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray has made a statement about the situation. Here is the entirety of it:
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. We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process. We will have no further comment at this time.
A statement from Horcoff:
While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process.
Although I was unaware that this treatment was no permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever. I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPAs 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 honored 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.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.