ST. PAUL, Minn. - Wild defenceman Sean Hill played his first game for Minnesota on Wednesday night after completing a 20-game suspension for violating the NHL's drug policy.
During last season's playoffs, Hill - then with the New York Islanders - was suspended April 19 after an anabolic steroid was found in his system. He missed the last game of New York's post-season and was required to sit out the first 19 Wild games this season after he signed with the club as a free agent.
In 15 minutes 14 seconds of ice time Wednesday, Hill had a team-leading five hits, blocked a shot, took one holding the stick penalty, and finished a plus-1.
"I felt good at times, but other times not so good. The timing was off at times, but it was like I expected," the 37-year-old Hill said. "It's going to take me a little time, but hopefully hard work and some experience will get me through until I get up to where I feel really comfortable."
The Wild said Hill acknowledged using a doctor-prescribed testosterone booster approved by the NHL, but he tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid boldenone.
"We researched the situation and the substance Sean tested positive for and found that boldenone can be ingested inadvertently through health supplements and foods," the Wild said in a statement announcing Hill's signing on July 6. "We believe Sean did not knowingly take any banned performance-enhancing substance."
The native of Duluth, Minn., is known as a hard-nosed defender with a hard shot from the point. In 81 games with New York last season, Hill had one goal, 24 assists and was a plus-6. He was third in the NHL with 252 hits and sixth with 202 blocked shots.