NHL approves Sugden reinstatement request

Darren Dreger

9/13/2008 8:36:56 PM

The National Hockey League has decided Brandon Sugden deserves another chance.

The League yesterday followed up on his case and sources say today the four teams who initially voted against his reinstatement, reversed their vote.

In 2001, Sugden was suspended for life by the ECHL after he threw his stick into the stands, hitting a fan. Other pro leagues upheld the decision until 2003 when an arbitrator overturned the ruling.

Sugden retired from professional hockey in 2006, but continued playing in Quebec with the Ste Jean Chiefs in a league recognized as professional hockey.

Recently he was invited to attend the New York Islanders training camp, but because technically he hasn't sat out one full year, he required all 30 NHL teams approval.

Four teams voted against Sugden's return, crushing for the 30-year old whose return is largely fueled by his father, who is battling terminal cancer.

This week his story was made public and enough pressure was generated for the NHL's head office to step in and encourage the four teams blocking to reconsider.