Reporting from Vancouver -- Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell once played with Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin and considers the Canucks star forward to be a good friend.
Yet that didn’t prevent him from holding back when asked about the five-game suspension handed out to Chicago’s Duncan Keith last week after he elbowed Sedin in the head. Sedin is out indefinitely with a concussion and the Canucks took the step of confirming that fact, not something always done in the NHL.
When Mitchell was playing for the Canucks, his hockey career was threatened and future clouded when he suffered a concussion and had months of lingering symptoms.
“I don’t like seeing him hurt, especially with an injury like that,” Mitchell said after Monday’s morning skate in Vancouver. “It hits close to home with me.
“But I thought his [earlier] hit on Duncan itself should have been a suspendable offense, too. I was actually really surprised because he had passed the puck already and Duncan didn’t have the puck and it was a shoulder to a head. Maybe they ruled it incidental contact.”
Earlier, Daniel’s twin brother and linemate, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin, was asked about that very hit on Keith by Daniel. Henrik had a strong response to the question about the notion of “frontier justice.”
“You can’t expect to get an elbow run through your head,” Henrik said. “That’s where we are and that’s wrong. Like I said, if the league wanted to do something with Danny’s hit, then they would have done something. If someone feels that something is wrong out on the ice, if the right thing is to run someone’s elbow through the other player's head. If that’s where we are. Then I’m not happy."