Ryan VandenBussche's fists are the biggest reason he has spent the past 14 winters in pro hockey.
They also are the reason he's in a jail today.
VandenBussche, an unrestricted free agent whose contract with the Penguins expired last week, was arrested early yesterday after an altercation in the parking lot of the Turkey Point Hotel in Turkey Point, Ontario.
Turkey Point, a small resort town on Lake Erie, is located approximately 50 miles west of Buffalo, N.Y.
According to a police report, VandenBussche was changed with three counts of assaulting a police officer, one count of obstructing/resisting a police officer and one count of uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm.
He had a preliminary bail hearing yesterday and reportedly will remain in jail until a court appearance Thursday.
The police report said that VandenBussche, 33, intervened when a friend was being arrested at about 1:55 a.m. after a "large altercation" in the parking lot.
According to the report, he "started punching at officers, striking one officer in the left eye area, a second officer was struck around the left ear and third officer was struck at, but not hit. The suspect was also verbally assaultive [sic] towards police and threatened the life of one officer."
It added that VandenBussche "was subdued with the use of a Taser and pepper spray after failing to comply with the officer's requests to cease his assaultive behavior."
VandenBussche, a right winger, signed with the Penguins as a free agent two years ago.
He spent part of the 2004-05 season with their minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre after the NHL season was wiped out by a labor dispute and played 20 games with the Penguins in 2005-06 before his season was ended by a neck injury.
He had one goal, no assists and 42 penalty minutes.
For his career, which included stints with Chicago and the New York Rangers, VandenBussche has 10 goals, 10 assists and 702 penalty minutes in 310 NHL games.
Correction/Clarification: (Published July 6, 2006) Ryan VandenBussche is a former Penguin. He was misidentified as a Penguins enforcer in a headline on this story as originally published on July 4, 2006.
Dave Molinari can be reached at 412-263-1144.