Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff returned to the Honda Center to resume practicing with his teammates Tuesday, the first day he was eligible to work out with them again after he was suspended for 20 games Jan. 26 under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
He’s not eligible to play again until March 11, however.
Horcoff, 37, took full responsibility for taking a banned substance he said he used to treat a hand injury suffered in November. He wouldn’t name the substance or the person who gave it to him except to say it was someone outside the Ducks organization who he sought for help in aiding his recovery and rehabilitation.
“It was really hard to grasp the stick,” he said of his injury. “When I went out and got the treatment, I was unaware that the treatment I was getting was not permitted by the league. That was probably the most frustrating thing. That’s where I take full blame and full responsibility. I should have taken the time, personally, to look into what was going on, not just relying on the word of someone else. The league makes it very obviously you’re responsible for what goes in your body, first and foremost.
“I believe in the testing. But the emphasis is on the player. That’s the lesson I’ve learned in this. The league does a good job in educating us. Beware what goes in your body. Make sure who you’re working with that you trust and they know what the rules are. They do a good job. But you never really as a player think it’s going to happen to you until it does. It’s a hard lesson for me. I had to take full responsibility when it happened. I should have done my homework and I should have looked into it personally and known exactly what was going on.”
Horcoff had six goals and 10 points in 45 games before drawing a mandatory 20-game suspension.