It's not the best quality but it gives you a sense of how the former Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning tough guy -- now playing for the Norfolk Admirals, who were facing the Hershey Bears when this occurred -- violated AHL Rule 41.2 for deliberately striking an official with his stick, which comes with a mandatory 20-game suspension.
John Walton believes, like the AHL, that Downie intentionally slashed linesman Mike Hamilton. But the Admirals and the Lightning, in their appeal, claim Downie hit the puck and inadvertently made contact with Hamilton.
"The Tampa Bay Lightning support the Norfolk Admirals in appealing the 20-game suspension handed down to right wing Steve Downie for his actions in a game against the Hershey Bears on February 28," the statement said. "The Lightning has requested that the American Hockey League consider additional evidence in the matter and requests that the player receive a modicum of due process before a final decision is rendered. To clarify public reports, the player struck the official (during the course of play) with the follow through of his stick after winning a faceoff against Hershey's Andrew Joudrey. The club understands Downie remains on indefinite suspension, pending the appeal, and it will have no further comment on this matter until its resolution."
Jim Mill, the AHL's vice president for hockey operations, was quoted by Lightning Strikes as saying said "the video of the incident was ‘clear cut' and that he had no doubt Downie acted deliberately."
Good thing he chose not to interview Downie during this process, or else perhaps it wouldn't be so "clear cut." Who needs pesky doubt when you've got a mandatory minimum of 20 games?