Adirondack Flames forward Trevor Gillies has been suspended 12 games by the American Hockey League.  The 35-year-old Gillies slammed Rochester Americans’ rookie William Carrier’s head into the ice during an altercation late in the third period of the Flames 6-1 loss.  (I’m not calling it a fight since Carrier didn’t even throw a punch.)

(Apologies for the poor quality. The original video has been removed.)

Gillies was hit with two game misconducts – one for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of the game (46.12)and one for aggressor (46.2) for continuing to throw punches at an unwilling or noncombative opponent. He also received five minutes for fighting and two for instigating.  Carrier was not penalized.  Referees for the game were Kendrick Nicholson and Jamie Koharski.

“I definitely wasn’t trying to smack his head off the ice,” Gillies told the Post-Star. “I was trying to pick him up and once I realized that he wasn’t fighting back, something clicked in my head that I was doing something wrong and I put him back down. I’d rather not discuss it; I apologized to the kid on Facebook and I feel bad about it. It’s something that I’m going to have to man up and accept my punishment.”

“It’s the decision that was made and I have to be a man and accept it,” Gillies said after practice on Tuesday. “When I come back, I have to make sure none of that happens again, so I can be more effective.”

Gillies apologized for his actions on Facebook:

“I would like to apologize to my family back home for embarrassing the family name. To my teammates and the organization and the fans in the hockey community. I crossed the line. Thankfully the kid is okay. I’m not taking this lightly or easily and promise it won’t happen again. If you want to bash me I get it. I will just take my medicine with no response. Again I’m truly sorry Gillies”

Gillies’ History of Violence

Back in 2011, Gillies – then with the Islanders – hit Penguins forward Eric Tangradi up high, kicking off a line brawl late in an 8-2 Isles win. He taunted an injured Tangradi from the tunnel.

On his first game back, Gillies hit Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck up high. Referee Paul Devorski sent him to the showers with a game misconduct. The NHL followed up with a ten-game suspension for the hit.

Adam Proteau of the Hockey News brings up a great point — if teams and players don’t condone his actions, why let him back on the ice?

The 35-year-old Gillies won’t be an active player for much longer, but he has already had more than one second chance after doing something heinous and indefensible. A lifetime suspension wouldn’t do him much at this point, but we shouldn’t lose focus on the fact that, if the … team owners and the players’ associations … were willing to suspend players such as Gillies for longer, their degree of recidivism would be reduced significantly, and those who actually have something to contribute beyond intimidation would enjoy longer playing careers and better lives in retirement.

Gillies is eligible to return to the Adirondack lineup on November 15, when the Flames take on the Lake Erie Monsters. Based on his suspension history, you have to wonder if he deserves to return to the lineup at all.