Report: Former NHL enforcer Matthew Barnaby arrested for allegedly choking bouncer

Yahoo Sports Canada
Matthew Barnaby, seen here in a file photo from 1999, is no stranger to physical confrontation. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)
Matthew Barnaby, seen here in a file photo from 1999, is no stranger to physical confrontation. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Matthew Barnaby was arrested on Thursday morning in Nashville, according to multiple reports.

The 46-year-old was charged with assault and public intoxication after being accused of allegedly choking a bouncer, per WKBW Buffalo. Police were dispatched to Nashville Crossroads bar to respond to a male that was involved in an altercation with his girlfriend and bystanders, according to Mollie Walker of the New York Post.

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Nashville police noticed “strong odour of an alcoholic beverage on his breath as well as red watery eyes and slurred speech” when they arrived around 1 a.m., according to WKBW Buffalo and Walker.

Released on a bond totally $6,000, Barnaby is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month.

As the news of his arrest has spread, so has his mug shot taken after the incident, that’s far from flattering.

Barnaby addressed what occurred on Thursday afternoon through his official Twitter account.

Law-related confrontations are nothing new for Barnaby, though.

He completed 500 hours of community service and anger management courses after pleading not guilty to five charges for an incident in May 2011, according to Walker. Barnaby broke down the door to his estranged wife’s home, “confronted her in front of police and made harassing phone calls to her.”

Three months before the incident, Barnaby’s ex-wife — Christine Cardarella — filed a restraining order against him and issued a court order to prevent him from entering her home, per Walker.

Barnaby also plead guilty to four violations including driving while intoxicated and refusing a breath test later in December of 2011. Officers found him behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne not far from his home in suburban Buffalo the early morning. According to the Associated Press, the vehicle “had damage to its front end” and was “causing sparks because it was missing a front tire.”

A few years into his broadcasting career with ESPN at the time, the plea agreement Barnaby reached was the reason the Ottawa native avoided jail time that could have jeopardized his status in the United States. It didn’t protect his job, though.

ESPN fired him less than a day after he was arrested, per the Associated Press.

Barnaby played nearly 900 regular-season and playoff games during his NHL career that included stints with the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars.

Known for getting under the skin of his opponents, amassed 2,732 penalty minutes in that time and was involved in 192 fights, according to hockeyfights.com.

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