ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Wild defenseman 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
postseason 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 in Minnesota's 4-2 loss to Vancouver.
"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
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.