BOSTON -- Boston Bruins' forward Terry O'Reilly, suspended by the NHL for failing to attend a hearing called after he struck a referee, says he notified the league two days prior that he would not be attending.
'I just heard I was suspended from a release from Vancouver,' O'Reilly told Boston radio stations Friday.
'I notified them two days before the hearing that I was not attending.
'They had two days to call me and explain that it was mandatory.'
O'Reilly had struck referee Andy van Hellemond as the official tried to restrain the player during a fight in the final two seconds of the deciding game in the Adams Division final April 25, won by the Quebec Nordiques.
NHL president John Zeigler announced Friday O'Reilly had been indefinitely suspended, but a team spokesman said the Bruins understood the right winger's presence at the May 7 hearing in Montreal was not required.
The hearing, scheduled by NHL vice president Brian O'Neill, was attended by Boston general manager Harry Sinden, van Hellemond, linesmen Ray Scapinello and John D'Amico, vice president of officiating Scotty Morrison and John McCauley, supervisor of the playoff series.
'Refusing to appear at a scheduled disciplinary hearing is tantamount to a boycott of the hearing procedures and disciplinary process and is an overt act of defiance of the league's duly constituted authority,' Zeigler said. 'This cannot be permitted.'