Toledo defenseman Chris Slater has been suspended and fined by the East Coast Hockey League team for his actions last Saturday toward Storm fans in a game against Trenton at the Sports Arena.
Storm head coach and director of hockey operations Dennis Holland yesterday suspended Slater from the Feb. 15 home contest against Johns-town, fined him an undisclosed amount that will be donated to a charity of the player's choice and ordered him to perform an undisclosed amount of community service.
During a stoppage in play late in the second period Saturday, Slater lunged over the protective glass that separates players from fans in an attempt to physically respond to a taunting ticket-holder. No one was hurt and the fan was removed from the arena by police.
Later that period, the defenseman appeared to make an obscene gesture to several heckling fans.
Holland said ECHL officials agreed with his decision to suspend and fine Slater and that no further penalties would be forthcoming.
A free-agent signee during the off-season, Slater came to Toledo after being named to the ECHL All-Star game last season when he played for Wheeling. He's struggled with the Storm, scoring six goals and 13 assists in 41 games. His plus/minus record of minus-11 is the worst on the team.
“I'd like to say that I'm sorry to the fans,” Slater said yesterday. “I went overboard. It was the wrong thing to do. I reacted on emotion. I shouldn't have done it and I hope that it doesn't happen again.”
NOTES: Winger Jason Norrie will not play tomorrow or Saturday at Peoria. One of his grandparents passed away this week and he has returned to Calgary for the funeral. ... The shoulder separation that forced Andrew Williamson to miss the third period of Saturday's loss and all of Tuesday's win at Cincinnati has not healed well enough to allow him to play in Peoria. Toledo native and winger Nick Edinger will fill in.