David Perron recipient of center ice hit
that resulted in major penalty, game-misconduct
By LOUIE KORAC
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The NHL overlooked the hit that Carlo Colaiacovo took from Jordin Tootoo which resulted in a concussion. San Jose captain Joe Thornton was not as fortunate.
Thornton, who laid a heavy shoulder hit that momentarily knocked Blues forward David Perron out as Thornton came out of the penalty box, received word on Friday from the league office that he will be suspended two games as a result of the hit.
Thornton, who was serving a two-minute penalty, caught Perron with a blindside hit to the head near center ice as the big forward was coming out of the box. He received a five-minute major and game-misconduct as a result of the play.
The Sharks are not pleased, according to reports, with the verdict, which was issued by Mike Murphy and not head of disciplinarian action Colin Campbell, who was traveling on Friday.
A report on TSN's website said that Thornton's brother and agent, John Thornton, may appeal the verdict since it was not conducted by Campbell himself. But Campbell was kept abreast by Murphy and the two rendered the decision.
The Blues did not want to comment after Thursday's 2-0 win over the Sharks but had more of a view before the decision was issued.
"The league has brought attention to head shots on east-west (hits) and the onus being on the hitter," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "These are the guidelines we've had put in front of us. We would expect the guidelines to continue to be in place and addressed when the situation calls for it."
Added forward Brad Boyes, "It was a hit to the head. I didn't see it initially, but I saw the replay of it. You see Perry's head get caught back. He was in a vulnerable position ... it's a tough play. Obviously, Perry doesn't see him coming out of the box, but at the same time, it was a shot to the head. The referees got it right. That's a big thing we're trying to keep out of the game."
Thornton, not known as a "dirty" player and who came into the game with zero penalty minutes on the season, said after the game he had no intention of hurting Perron.
"I felt like I established myself on the ice and then I thought it was just a north-south hit," Thornton said. "I braced myself for the hit and he just ran into me. That’s all I thought had happened."
Added Sharks coach Todd McClellan, "I thought Joe had come out of the penalty box and established his ice. I didn’t see it as a predatorial hit. I thought it was a north-south hit and in my opinion it was right on the numbers. It wasn’t a shoulder, it wasn’t an elbow, but it’s out of my hands now."