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Letang to miss Saturday’s game with “symptoms”

Mar 1, 2012, 4:37 PM EDT

Letang Nystrom

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will miss at least Saturday’s game in Colorado, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Letang was hurt last night in Dallas on a controversial hit by Eric Nystrom. The Stars forward received a minor penalty for roughing but was not punished further by the league.

Coach Dan Bylmsa said Letang “did have some symptoms today and is going to get re-evaluated back in Pittsburgh.”

The news is doubly concerning since Letang’s already missed 21 games this season with a concussion.

Though Letang would still be hurt if Nystrom had been suspended, it’s worth noting that former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes there should’ve been supplemental discipline.

The League owes it to their players, their future health and the game in general to eliminate as much of the ‘wiggle’ room as possible when it comes to dangerous hits and principal point of contact to the head.

A five-game suspension might just be the place to restart a player awareness program before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.

Following Saturday’s contest in Colorado, Pittsburgh’s next game is Monday at home to Phoenix.

Related:

Debate gets … heated between Milbury, Roenick

Video: Eric Nystrom’s hit on Kris Letang

  1. jobotjones - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    This hit was not worthy of a 5 game suspension by any means. In my opinion, 1-2 games could have been understood but in reality (and I am a Pens fan) the hit was not overly dirty.

    This is what gets me. Letang will miss time and Nystrom gets off scott free. They should test out a suspension system related to missed time by the injured player.

    For example; if Letang misses 3 games, Nystrom should be suspended 1 game. 5 games:2 games etc.

    It just seems wrong that a player suffering a concussion misses time and the guy who dishes it out skates freely.

    • jobotjones - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      Also, they could cap the amount of suspension time, if a player misses 10 games+ they could set a max number of games suspended (7 seems about fair) for the player who dished out the hit.

    • stakex - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      But you just said you didn’t feel the hit was all that dirty. So if it was a fairly clean hit, why should a player be punished becuase someone was hurt by his clean hit?

      Your “eye for an eye” system wouldn’t work anyway. Not only would the NHLPA never in a million years sign on to such a system (they won’t even sign on to fines over $2,500), but how could you possibly suspend someone based on how long a player will miss? Unless the league had a crystal ball that tells the future, they wouldn’t have any idea how long the injured player would be out… thus being unable to hand out a suspension until AFTER the injured player returns, which could be months after the fact.

      • jobotjones - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:35 PM

        This was just a thought I had, and yes it would be after the player comes back but I believe they could set up some type of system. Who’s to say that if you cause a player to miss 10 games you shouldn’t miss at least 3 or 4?

        Also, it was never a true eye for an eye system it was more of a 3:1 ratio of sorts.

  2. brian32556 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Mr. Consistency, Mike Milbury, would have had Nystrom strung and quartered during the intermission of the game. This is the same Mr. Milbury who continually says “it’s a man’s game” and let them play. Except it would seem, if they’re foreign born. Milbury HAS consistently mocked foreigners as if they were stealing jobs from North American born players. How he get into a lead color commentator role is beyond me. He never did anything as a player or a coach. All he can do is TALK.

    • mhikeae - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      It is, minimally worth noting that Milbury is the coach who demonized Ulf Samuelsson for “ending Cam Neely’s” career, and then as I recall assembling the I toughest line he could to go after Ulf. At least his emotion had nothing to do with his love on the Pen’s?

    • stakex - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      I think its safe to say the NHL or NBC has had a talk with Milbury recently. He has constantly said the league should just ban hitting if they are going to keep “pansifying” the sport. Yet hes fights tooth and nail that Nystrom should be suspended 5 games for a clean hit (Shanahan says its clean, like it or not)? Where the hell did that come from, if not from Milbury being told to get on board with the NHL’s message and stop taking shots at the leagues new rules.

      • brian32556 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:36 PM

        Agreed. Suddenly he’s toeing the corporate line. But as usual he has to use bullying and intimidating tactics to try and make his point – even when he doesn’t believe in it. He’s a blackeye to NBC/NHL.

  3. bmscalise - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    I’m just tired of it. There’s always an excuse, especially once Feb. hits. Typical blame the victim mentality that has put how much talent on the sideline: Sid, LeTang, Backstrom, Toews, Pronger, Horton… The list is so fricking long I can’t even remember a portion.

    What’s it going to be – six months, a year, a year and half before the Pens see Tanger again? There’s no chance he’ll be back with a second concussion in four months.

    So here’s another season gone without two top-flight talents. Much as I love this game, why watch it when there’s little to no chance the team will be intact come playoff time? Why spend to the cap when when large portions of it will spend half the season or more in the press box?

    And more importantly, now that this year of the core is lost: who will it be next year? Geno? Staal? Sid again? Neal? Someone will throw a shoulder into one of their heads to slow them down. Ditto with the other contenders. I guarantee at least one of Det, Van, Nash with lose a big name to a concussion before they get a chance at a run. Every player in the league knows there are no consequences for recklessness. I’m not saying they intend to send guys off the ice with headshots. They just don’t care if they do. And why should they?

  4. steelpenguin71 - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Selective and subjective NHL justice is a joke. True for all pro sports. Especially with head shots.

    The rule is no hits to the head. He hit him in the head. Simple. Either let them play and get rid of the rule OR enforce the rule. If the ref thought he should be suspended why only a 2 min minor?

    This hit is not gray. Not worthy of 5 games but not gray.

  5. hockeyfan29 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Who is getting concussed next week?? I am guessing most stars in the league have been targeted for concussions. Time to start doing something about this. Pronger, M.Staal, Giroux, Richards, Pitkanen, Skinner, Schenn, Michalek (both brothers), Beagle, Gerbe, Bortuzzo, Crosby just to name some. List keeps growing. Not to mention Savard who’s career end too soon from post concussion syndrome. It’s more serious than what fans think. All players need to think about the consequences before they do something stupid, and if they do then pay for it.

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