The Record Books: Longest Suspension

Franchise Record: Martin Havlat (5 games)


League Record: Billy Coutu (Lifetime)


Though many referred to Chris Simon's 30 game suspension last season as the longest in hockey history, they apparently forgot about Billy Coutu. One of hockey's original bad-boys, after getting traded to the Bruins, Coutu severed Hall-of-Famer Eddie Shore's ear at his first practice. But that's not where the lifetime suspension came from. The suspension came from attacking referee Jerry Laflamme and inciting a brawl in Game 4 of the 1927 Stanley Cup finals. The suspension was lifted two years later so that Coutu could play in the minor leagues, but he never played in the NHL again. Who were the Bruins playing in that Stanley Cup Final? Why, the Sens, of course, who went on to win the Cup.

Somewhat coincidentally, Havlat's suspension also came in a Bruins/Sens matchup: he was suspended five games in the 05/06 season for his kick on Hal Gill. This was Havlat's second kicking suspension.

How do they compare?

Quite frankly, when Martin Havlat holds the record for the longest time spent sitting out (and it is not due to injury), that's a clear indicator that there's no contest. Poor Coutu, though: if only he played in the AHL, his suspension wouldn't have been nearly so long.

Not everyone can afford to pay for sports coverage right now, and that is why we will keep as much of the site's content free for as long as we can.

But if you are able to, please consider subscribing to help keep our articles free (and get a few extra perks).

Erik Condra
  • Ability to comment and participate in our community
  • Twice monthly newsletter available only to subscribers
  • Ad-free reading
  • Our undying love and appreciation
Brady Tkachuk
  • Everything from the Erik Condra tier
  • 10% discount on all merch
  • Access to any future paywalled content
  • A personal thank-you from the Silver Seven staff
Daniel Alfredsson
  • Everything from the Brady Tkachuk tier
  • Inner peace knowing you are supporting quality, independent coverage of your favourite sports team