Hamhuis questions NHL's decision
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville Predators defenseman Dan Hamhuis said the NHL's reaction to the hit he took from Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa is "light," and he questioned whether Hossa's otherwise clean record should have been a factor in the decision.
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"I just personally think it was a little bit light," Hamhius said on Monday. "It was a dangerous play, and my injuries and his prior past shouldn't have anything to do with it. It doesn't change the action."
Hossa shoved Hamhuis from behind into the boards on Saturday and drew a major penalty late in regulation that carried into overtime. Hossa returned to the ice and scored the winning goal on his first shift back, giving the Blackhawks a 5-4 victory and a 3-2 series lead.
NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell conducted a hearing with Hossa on Sunday and decided that no further penalty would be assessed. Hossa was spared, in part, because he is not a repeat offender.
"They know me as a player," Hossa said on Monday. "I've been in the league 12 years and never had that type of accident."
Predators coach Barry Trotz compared the hit on Hamhuis to one delivered by Washington's Alex Ovechkin that injured Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell last month. Campbell broke his collarbone on the play, and Ovechkin was given a two-game suspension.
"It was very similar [to the Ovechkin hit]," Hamhuis said. "There were some minor differences about the play, but in both cases it's a very dangerous place to be hit. And in both cases me and Brian Campbell weren't expecting it."
The Predators face elimination on Monday night, and Hamhuis, who said he could have returned to the ice after the hit if not for the penalty kill to end the game, admitted the hit will be on his mind when he returns to the ice.
"I'll certainly probably think about it," Hamhuis said. "It was a pretty traumatic thing going into the boards at that speed from five feet away head-first. Whether I'm hurt or not it's still a bit of a shock to go through something like that. It's on my mind, I'm trying to do the best I can to put it out of my mind and focus on the game."
ESPNChicago.com Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.
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