‘See everyone on the ice January 12th!’’ - the seven word tweet from Matt Nickerson which gave the first hint that an appeal against his 12-game ban had been successful.
Confirmation came within minutes. Fife Flyers’ import enforcer will be back on the ice in just two weeks after his suspension was cut by three games.
His first match back will actually be on January 11 against Dundee Stars - his birthday.
In reviewing the suspension, Moray Hanson, chief of discipline, fired a clear warning shot which effectively marked the big defenceman’s card: ‘‘I sincerely hope that following this incident Nickerson will conduct himself on the ice under the IIHF rules and guidelines of fair play.”
The announcement came after Todd Dutiaume, head coach, spoke at the weekend in his post-game media interviews about how the club was preparing its appeal and going through the process step by step.
He stressed his good working relationship with Hanson and how he was comfortable taking the matter forward on behalf of the player who was thrown out after a flashpoint with Braehead Clan import, Chris Frank.
Flyers now get their key blueliner back earlier than anticipated - a factor that could help lift spirits after a tough weekend on the ice saw them lose twice to Dundee Stars.
Nickerson’s 12-game ban for excessive roughness came in the game against Clan on December 14.
A a mandatory review followed, but Hanson said tonight: “I can confirm that after reviewing all the points put forward by those concerned and after reviewing further video evidence, the suspension has been downgraded to nine matches.’’
The disciplinary chief held to his view that the defenceman was guilty of ‘‘a serious incident’’ and he ‘‘could not stress enough that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in the Elite League.’’
However he added: ‘‘“The Fife management team have put forward reasons for reducing the penalty and I have taken all of these on board.’’
Flyers are away to Edinburgh to play struggling Capitals on Hogmanay with the teams meeting again in Kirkcaldy on January 4.
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