The NHL has announced that Arizona Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo has been suspended for three games for abuse of an official. The incident occurred as the second period in Saturday's game against the Calgary Flames came to an end. A scrum ensued with Calgary's Sam Bennett and DeAngelo made physical contact with an official as he tried to break free from being restrained. In doing so, DeAngelo violated Rule 40.4.

Rule 40.4

He was given a game misconduct and did not play in the third period. Rule 40.4 states, 40.4 Automatic Suspension - Category III - Any player who (...) deliberately applies physical force to an official sorely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.

DeAngelo's suspension comes without pay, and he will forfeit $14,388.90 of his salary.

Past incidents

Unfortunately, this is not the first time DeAngelo has faced disciplinary action. In 2014, DeAngelo was suspended in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for using racial, homophobic, or sexist slurs directed at a teammate. The second incident was an eight game suspension during the 2013-14 OHL season for abusing an official.

DeAngelo was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round (20th overall) of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but was soon traded to Arizona for a second round pick (37th overall) in 2016. Attitude problems were cited as a potential reason as to why Tampa was so willing to let him go.

Coyotes General Manager John Chayka was aware of DeAngelo's past when he pulled the trigger on the trade, telling Craig Morgan of Arizonasports.com in an interview, "He's a young kid.

He's made some mistakes or done some things, but we're willing to work with him. We think strongly that he's a good person."

DeAngelo has been a good player for the Coyotes, but his maturity issues remain. This is only the first incident within the Coyotes organization, but another incident nonetheless.

DeAngelo is able to practice with the team during his suspension, but will not be eligible to play until Jan. 13 when Arizona takes on Winnipeg.

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