Ducks' Shawn Horcoff suspended 20 games for performance enhancing substance violation

Ducks center Shawn Horcoff has been suspended 20 games for violating the NHL's performance enhancing substances policy, the league announced Tuesday.

The Ducks were informed of the suspension hours before they played at the Boston Bruins.

“This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff,” Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process. We will have no further comment at this time.”

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Horcoff, 37, a 15-year-veteran with 994 games played, issued a statement through the NHL Players’ Association. 

“While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process," Horcoff said. "Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever.

"I should have done my research and I should have checked with the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program’s doctors. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I am sorry."

Horcoff signed with Anaheim as a free agent last summer after two seasons with the Dallas Stars and 12 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, where he served as captain. His leadership has been valued in the Ducks’ dressing room this season.

“[He’s] a guy that works his tail off every night,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said earlier this month. “He’s scored some important goals for us. He’s a good leader in the locker room. For 37 years old, he’s done everything we’ve asked him.”

It is not known what substance triggered the suspension. 

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Earlier this month, Horcoff was asked about his impending 1,000th game and told The Times that, “I think for me, I’ve always built a career of hard work. When you first come in, you try and make it, and then you try to establish a name for yourself and eventually try and play as long as you can. I’ve been lucky to play this long.”

Horcoff will forfeit $357,526.88, based on his average annual salary, according to the NHL, and will receive a mandatory referral to the NHL/NHL Players' Assn. program for substance abuse and behavioral health for evaluation.

"Throughout my entire career, I have felt genuinely blessed and honored to play the great game of hockey, and I regret the impact that this may have on my team and our fans," Horcoff said in the statement. "I look forward to the day I return to the ice for the playoff push.”

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UPDATE

11:43 a.m.: Adds statement from Horcoff.

This post was originally published at 11:17 a.m.

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