Jonathan Huberdeau suspended 4 games for abuse of official

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the best prospects in the NHL and he's now off to take part in Canada's World Junior selection camp.

Before he was to leave for camp, Huberdeau had one more game to play with his junior team, the Saint John Sea Dogs, on Sunday night. And incidents in that game resulted in him earning a four-game suspension from the league for instigating a fight in the final five minutes, and also for abuse of official as he shoved a linesman to the ice in order to complete the skirmish.

Here's the video and you can decide for yourself if the linesman went down as a result of Huberdeau's shove, or him just simply losing his balance (or a combination of the two).

Huberdeau defended his character and his actions on Monday to the Calgary Herald.

"It was not intentional," Huberdeau said via the Herald. "I feel sad for the referee if he got hurt and I talked to him after the game and he didn't think it was my fault. It was unintentional, but what's done is done and the league made a decision.”

It's possible that Sunday's game was Huberdeau's last game with Saint Johns as he's now off to take part in the World Junior Championships for team Canada. And if by some chance the NHL lockout comes to an end in the next month his next stop after that could be the Panthers. And if not? It's also possible the the struggling Saint John team could trade him before the QMJHL trade deadline in January.

In 30 games with the Sea Dogs this season he's scored 16 goals to go with 49 assists.

The latest Hockey's Future prospect rankings has Huberdeau, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft as the fourth best prospect in the NHL behind only Edmonton's Nail Yakupov, St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko, and Boston's Dougie Hamilton.

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