blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Today In NHL History - Eager Punches Armstrong

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Today In NHL History - Eager Punches Armstrong

On January 7th in 2010, notorious cheapshot Ben Eager of the Atlanta Thrashers sucker-punched Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong late in the second period of play with his team trailing by a score of 5-1.

After the game, Eager continued his assault on Armstrong accusing him of being "one of the biggest phonies in the league". Sporting a patch over his right eye, Armstrong offered a two word description of Eager - "meat-head" - joking "I can't believe he missed my nose".

Colby suffered a scratched cornea from the sucker-punch resulting in swelling and leaking from his right eye. Despite the injury, Armstrong continued to play for a month until his vision became blurred from the incident and he was sidelined for a week missing four games.

Eager was assessed a match penalty and subsequently suspended four games, forfeiting $20,752 in pay. The punishment was shocking to some as Milan Lucic escaped suspension two weeks earlier for bare-knuckle sucker-punching Thrasher Freddy Meyer, prompting Eager to opine "there's no real parity in these suspensions that are handed out".

Toronto scored four times on the ensuing man advantage, collecting five powerplay goals on Eager penalties that night, en route to a 9-3 win.

That's today in NHL history.