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The Hockey News
1/11/2007 12:30:45 PM


Police in suburban Vancouver are investigating an assault that has left a former NHL player in a coma and fighting for his life.

The Hockey News reports that Garrett Burnett, who played 39 games for the Anaheim Ducks in 2003-04, was allegedly assaulted in the early hours of Dec. 26 when he was out with a group of friends at a nightclub in North Delta, B.C.

Delta police say Burnett was at the club with a small group of friends and became involved in a dispute with another group inside the club. Both parties were asked to leave and when Burnett and his friends left the club, the group with whom they had the dispute was reportedly waiting for them and assaulted them. Police say Burnett was “severely” hit in the head during the incident.

"We are treating this very seriously," said Acting Sgt. Wave Steinwand of the Delta Police Department. "He's still in a coma and could go either way."

Police are currently investigating the incident and have gone over video of the assault and have several potential suspects in mind, but charges have yet to be laid, Steinwand said.

A native of nearby Coquitlam, B.C., Burnett was in his home province after being banished from the Quebec-based North American Hockey League in December.

In a Dec. 17 game for the Summum Chiefs, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound former enforcer threw a net at an opposing goalie, then made a spectacle of himself on the ice during a brawl. He was suspended by the league for the remaining 36 games of the season and the playoffs. Burnett had played just four games for the Chiefs this season.

The Chiefs reportedly learned of Burnett's condition when team president Pierre Rochefort tried several times to get in touch with Burnett during the Christmas season. After leaving several voicemail messages for Burnett, Rochefort received a call from Burnett's father telling him that his son was in a coma.

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Sad,heard this elsewhere.By coincedence I was watching a fight tape last night before I heard the news,that had several of his encounters on.
 
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