Published July 06, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. – ESPN analyst and former NHL forward Matthew Barnaby was ordered Wednesday to complete 500 hours of community service to have charges dropped stemming from an argument he had with his estranged wife in May.
Barnaby, 38, was accused of causing an estimated $300 in damage by kicking the garage door May 13 in an attempt to enter the suburban Buffalo home where his wife and two children live, Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita's office said. He had pleaded not guilty to five charges.
As part of her ruling, Buffalo State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Haendiges also issued a one-year order of protection, barring Barnaby from having contact with his wife and her boyfriend, the DA's office said. Barnaby was also ordered to continue attending anger management counseling.
As part of the plea agreement, the misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment will be dropped if he fulfills the judge's order within a year.
Barnaby, who's from Ottawa, would have faced potential deportation had he been convicted.
A message left with Barnaby's attorney was not returned. A spokesman for Barnaby had no comment.
Barnaby broke into the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres during the 1992-93 season. He played for seven teams over 13-plus NHL seasons, earning a reputation as a pesky agitator during a career in which he finished with 113 goals and 187 assists for 300 points and 2,562 penalty minutes in 834 games.
He retired in 2007 because of a concussion sustained during a fight and joined ESPN as a studio analyst in 2008.