Ducks' Jacques banned for leaving bench to start fight

(Reuters) - Anaheim Ducks forward Jean-Francois Jacques has been suspended for the remainder of the preseason and five regular-season games for leaving his team's bench to start a fight, the National Hockey League said on Tuesday.

Jacques left the Anaheim bench late in the third period of last Saturday's game and made no attempt to take part in the play, instead skating straight toward Vancouver Canucks forward Mike Duco to initiate an altercation, the NHL said in a statement.

The NHL's rulebook states "A player who has entered play while play is in progress from his own players' bench ... who starts an altercation may be subject to discipline."

He received a minor penalty for instigating, a major penalty for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct as well as an automatic one-game suspension for instigating an altercation in the final five minutes of a game.

Jacques will miss a combined nine games and will not be available until the Anaheim's October 21 game versus Dallas. The regular season starts October 6.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto)