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Assault, mischief charges against former NHL player, turned TV commentator

Phoenix Coyotes forward Louis Debrusk, right, and San Jose Sharks defenceman Shawn Heins battle for the puck during the first period Tuesday, April 6, 1999, in Phoenix. DeBrusk, a television sports commentator and former NHL player, is facing more than a few minutes in the penalty box after a late-night punch-up in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Fiala

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Phoenix Coyotes forward Louis Debrusk, right, and San Jose Sharks defenceman Shawn Heins battle for the puck during the first period Tuesday, April 6, 1999, in Phoenix. DeBrusk, a television sports commentator and former NHL player, is facing more than a few minutes in the penalty box after a late-night punch-up in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mike Fiala

VANCOUVER - A television sports commentator and former NHL player is facing more than a few minutes in the penalty box after a late-night punch-up in Vancouver.

Louie DeBrusk, a Sportsnet broadcaster with the Edmonton Oilers, faces four assault charges and two counts of mischief under $5,000 following an incident in the early hours of Jan. 9 outside a downtown Vancouver hotel, the night after a 6-1 Oilers loss to the Canucks.

The allegations against DeBrusk include assaulting a cab driver, punching a Good Samaritan and vandalizing a taxi.

Vancouver Police said Tuesday that Dennis Louis DeBrusk, 39, has made one brief court appearance and is expected to return to court on Jan. 20.

"Shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 9th, Vancouver Police were called to the 1600 block of Bayshore Drive after witnesses reported seeing a man allegedly physically assaulting four other men and causing damage to two taxi cabs. Officers arrived moments later and arrested the man without incident," police said in a statement.

"No one was seriously injured and alcohol is believed to have played a role in the incident."

DeBrusk was drafted by the NHL New York Rangers in 1989 and also played with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks, but he is best known for the six years he spent with the Edmonton Oilers.

DeBrusk racked up nearly 1,161 penalty minutes he racked up over the course of his 11-year hockey career.

Rogers Sportsnet declined to comment.

"Because this matter is in front of the court, we have no comment at this time," Dave Rashford, director of communications and on-air promotions for Rogers Sportsnet, said in an email.

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