Author: Matt Reitz

Erik Cole; Max Pacioretty;

You make the call: Should Erik Cole be suspended for headshot?


Near the end of the first period of the Devils/Habs game in Montreal, Erik Cole hit rookie defenseman Adam Larsson with a hit to the head. Cole was penalized two minutes for an illegal hit to the head, while Larsson headed back to the locker room to recover from the hit. Thankfully, he was able to return to action in the second period.

It certainly looks like Cole caught the vulnerable Larsson with an elbow as he tried to curl around the net. As the announcers mentioned, this was one of those “drive-by” hits that Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake have been watching closely.

Was the head the principle point of contact? Absolutely. Was the player in a vulnerable position? Check. But Larsson was also bending down as he reached for the puck. Does that mean that Larsson changed the position of his head enough for Cole to escape punishment?

We through this out to the readers: Should Erik Cole be suspended by the NHL for this hit on Adam Larsson? The comment section awaits.

Update: Couturier to hospital for evaluation

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

After taking a puck off the side of his head, rookie Sean Couturier has been taken to Pennsylvania Hospital for further evaluation. Couturier took the a Kimmo Timonen shot off his head at the end of the second period and was kept out of the rest of the game by the Flyers medical staff. Despite falling to the ice and being evaluated by the training staff while on the ice, the eighth overall pick was able to pass the initial baseline testing in the Flyers locker room.

Now that he’s at the hospital, doctors are checking to make sure Couturier is not suffering from any other complications after taking the frozen rubber to the head. “I think what they are checking for now is damage to his skull,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “And taking a look to see if there is any internal damage.”

The Flyers GM continued as he explained how bad it could have been. “We still don’t know [full details]. Thank God he turned his head in time where it didn’t hit him in [the face].”

No one ever wants to see a player suffer a head injury, but it’s especially hard to watch a player that has been such a good story through the early part of the season. Head coach Peter Laviolette talked about what the 19-year-old rookie has meant to the team in his first professional season. “He’s such a good kid and good hockey player,” Laviolette confided to the media. “He’s really earned the respect of his teammates. When you see something like that happen to anybody, your heart stops for the second and you feel that pit in your stomach. For it to happen to a young player like that who has done all the right things for us this year is tough. We hope he’s OK and it’s nothing too serious.”

Sooner or later, the Flyers luck has to change, right? At this rate, CapGeek is going to have to add a new column to include “hazard pay” for anyone who wears the orange and black.

Ex-teammate Shane Doan talks about Selanne’s return to Winnipeg

shane doan jets

If there’s anyone that has any idea what Teemu Selanne is in for tonight when he returns to Winnipeg, it’s Coyotes captain Shane Doan. It was only two weeks ago when Doan made his own return to Manitoba to face the Jets for the first time since the team left Canada in 1996. Like Selanne, Doan was also a member of that final edition of the Winnipeg Jets 1.0. When he returned, there were fans who had waited since his rookie year to welcome him back to Winnipeg.

“They’re going to absolutely love him there,” Doan told Pro Hockey Talk this week. “I mean, everybody in Winnipeg loves Teemu. He could never do anything wrong in that city. They’re going to love him.”

It’s a wonder what kind of pull 76 goals can buy a player in a city. But it isn’t just the city that loves Selanne from his days in Winnipeg. Doan was a first year, first round draft pick breaking into the league as an 18-year-old during the Jets’ last season. That was right about the same time that Selanne was more popular than the mayor, the Prime Minister, and Rush in the Manitoban capital.

Selanne made an impression on Doan the one year they played together. “Honestly, you can’t explain how nice a man he is,” Doan shared. “As a rookie, as a young guy, he went out of his way to make me feel so comfortable. I thought, ‘he’s Teemu Selanne!’ He scored 76 goals and he was so unarming and easy to talk to. I enjoyed him a lot.”

It’s safe to say that Selanne will get a warmer reception that Doan did during his first game back. Aside from a video montage the Jets organization put together during one of the TV timeouts, many fans inside the MTS Centre booed Doan every time he touched the puck. In his case, the warm memories from the fans only went as far as the logo on his chest.

“Yeah, when you’re playing, I think you’re against their team and they’re very passionate about their team.” Doan said about his return to Winnipeg. “But at the same time, they’re all great fans. It was pretty cool what they did [the video tribute]. I appreciated it. Then I really appreciated it booing too. That’s a lot of fun too.”

We’ll see if anyone has the guts to boo Selanne in his return to Winnipeg tonight. Outlook: not likely.