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NHL reduces suspension for Coyotes' Bissonnette

The NHL announced Saturday that it has reduced Phoenix Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette's 10-game suspension to three games following an appeal.

Bissonnette was initially given an automatic 10-game ban after being ruled to have left the bench to join an altercation during a preseason game between the Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 15. The Phoenix enforcer also received a game misconduct for instigating a fight with the Kings' Jordan Nolan.

After reviewing the incident, the league upheld Bissonnette's assertion that he had legally substituted for teammate Max Domi, which was supported by Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett and several Phoenix players. The NHL determined that there was not enough video evidence to conclusively substantiate whether Bissonnette had left the bench or was legally on the ice.

The NHL still concluded that Bissonnette should bear some sort of penalty for his role in the brawl, which involved a number of players from both sides, that ensued.

Bissonnette will be forced to sit out Phoenix's first three regular-season contests and is eligible to return for an Oct. 10 game against Detroit.