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Sean Hill Suspended

Seanhill2 The Islanders playoff hopes took another hit as veteran defenseman Sean Hill was suspended by the NHL Friday for violating the league's performance enhancing drug program.

Hill, who played with the Panthers last year before being bought out, has been suspended for 20 games -- beginning immediately. And since Sean doesn't have a contract for next year, this suspension may mark the end of his career.

For Hill to play next year, he would have to sit out whatever games aren't covered this postseason. So, if the Islanders are knocked out tonight, Sean has 19 games left. And if this is it, what a tough way to go. Sean is in his 14th season and was a pretty standup guy throughout. Did you know he was a national champ at Wisconsin and played for Team USA at the 1992 Winter Olympics (see, things you learn at On Frozen Pond....)

I enjoyed my brief time covering Sean as a member of the Panthers last year. I was glad he landed on the Island and had a good year after being cut loose by Florida.

Sean was always a good guy to talk to after a win or a loss. This suspension doesn't change my thoughts on the guy. It just appears to me Sean felt he needed a little extra help keeping up with the youngsters. Sean just turned 37 and isn't nearly as quick or as fast as he used to be. If he thought going to some chemical would help fix some of that, well, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see what he has to say about this and see what kind of evidence the league has on him.

Yet a 20 game suspension in the middle of the postseason -- when the Islanders (who should be the feel-good story of the year but keep hurting their image) are fighting for their playoff lives -- tells me the league made sure this was a legit charge before dropping the hammer.

Just yesterday, the New York media turned to Hill to get his thoughts on the Sabres being in the middle of a do-or-die situation against the Sabres tonight in Buffalo. "I think we can use it as a motivational tool," Hill told Long Island's Newsday, regarding the apparent Brendan Witt goal that was called a no-goal in Wednesday's loss. "Things happen. You can't explain them."

I guess.

-- Back in the Sunshine State again, real happy to see temperatures back above the 70 degree mark. Right where they belong.

-- Happy Birthday to my boy Chicago Robb. Looking older every day, Chico. Here's an early gift. Don't say I never gave ya nothin'.


Yeah, that was mean. Here's a better one: