The National Hockey League yesterday gave Washington's Randy Holt an early start on his vacation. Holt, involved in a wrestling match with linesman Paul Flaherty during Saturday's 4-4 tie with Philadelphia, was suspended for the last two games of the season.
Holt already had been assessed automatic fines totaling $250 and was forced to sit out Sunday's 6-5 Capital Centre loss to Pittsburgh as a result of the incident. The double game misconduct he was dealt by referee Bruce Hood gave him three for the season and mandated that one-game suspension.
Holt was permitted to play in Wednesday's 4-4 tie at Pittsburgh and received a 10-minute misconduct that enabled him to set a Washington club record of 250 penalty minutes for the season.
Another Capital player, Lee Norwood, drew his third game misconduct of the season in Pittsburgh and the resulting automatic one-game suspension will keep him out of Saturday's game in Toronto. Norwood was assessed misconduct, game misconduct and gross misconduct penalties, the latter for allegedly making an obscene gesture at referee Denis Morel.
Besides $250 in automatic fines, Norwood will not receive--at least until next year--a contract bonus specified when he plays his 40th NHL game. He has played 38 and would have qualified for the extra payment after Sunday's home finale against Montreal.
Since NHL Rule 29 calls for a $1,000 fine against the team when a player is suspended, and Torrie Robertson also received his third game misconduct against the Flyers Saturday, beleaguered Washington owner Abe Pollin has been forced to pay the NHL $3,000 in the past week because of player misconduct.
Seven Capitals have been invited to participate in the World Ice Hockey Championships in Finland, beginning April 15.
Ryan Walter, Mike Gartner and Rick Green have agreed to play for Team Canada, with Dennis Maruk delaying a decision because of his injured right knee.
Norwood will represent the United States, but Bobby Carpenter is undecided, because of conflicts involving his classes at the University of Maryland.
Bengt Gustafsson, invited to play for Sweden, is doubtful because of his physical condition.