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Hockey League says it has suspended three players in connection with ‘offensive’ post-game tweets

By JOHN COULTON, Associated Press The New York Rangers have suspended three members of their organization for at least three games and will hold an in-person disciplinary hearing Friday on the three players involved in a post-season Twitter rant against the Vancouver Canucks.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the suspensions Friday, saying the tweets were “disrespectful” to the organization and “inappropriate.”

The players are expected to appear in a hearing Thursday at the league office in Manhattan.

The players were suspended for a combined total of five games.

One player will be fined $1,000 and the other will be suspended for two games, according to the NHL.

They will not be eligible to play in the playoffs, according with league rules.

The NHL issued a statement after the suspensions were announced.

“We are aware of the tweets and take them very seriously.

The tweets were disrespectful to the game of hockey and did not reflect the views of the league or any of our players,” Bettman said in the statement.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and we look forward to hearing from them during the hearing. “

We are committed to ensuring that we have the most professional and respectful practices for all our players and staff.

The three players, defenseman Kevin Hayes, defenseman David Backes and goaltender Braden Holtby, are the only ones to have been suspended for the postseason, according the NHL Players’ Association.”

I will not tolerate conduct that undermines our collective effort, and we will continue our efforts to build a strong, inclusive and respectful workplace for all of our employees.”

The three players, defenseman Kevin Hayes, defenseman David Backes and goaltender Braden Holtby, are the only ones to have been suspended for the postseason, according the NHL Players’ Association.

Bettman said the tweets violated the league’s conduct policy and that he and other league officials will discuss those issues with the players in a confidential setting.