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Simmonds says he “can’t be mad” at Erskine for elbow

Feb 6, 2013, 5:14 PM EDT

Wayne Simmonds harbors no ill will towards the guy that concussed him.

That was the word out of Philadelphia on Wednesday as Simmonds returned to practice in a non-contract capacity and, following the skate, told the Philadelphia Daily News he didn’t think Capitals defenseman John Erskine intentionally tried to hurt him with this elbow:

“I don’t think it was intended to hurt me,” Simmonds explained. “If I thought it was, I would have said something. He’s a big, strong, stay-at-home d-man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him try to hurt someone.”

Simmonds said the concussion was the first of his career and says he’s been headache free “the entire time.”

As for Erskine, he was suspended three games for the elbow — a decision he disagreed with — and later texted Simmonds an apology.

Simmonds was glad to hear from Erskine, and re-iterated he wasn’t upset.

“[Erskine] knew he had gotten caught, we were going on a 3-on-1 the other way,” he said. “Sometimes, things happen fast in hockey. It’s a fast-paced game.

“You can’t be mad at him for it. It’s not really a big deal to me, it’s a hockey play.”

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