Feb 22, 2013, 8:40 PM EDT
St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock is displeased with the hit that sidelined his star rookie, Vladimir Tarasenko.
“It’s a blow to the head,” Hitchcock told NHL.com’s Lou Korac about the shot Tarasenko took from Colorado’s Mark Olver on Wednesday night. “Don’t care how it got there, whether it was a legit hockey play — it happens fast.
“It was a blow to the head. That was my concern.”
On Thursday, the NHL said there would be no fine or suspension for Olver.
On Friday, the Blues put Tarasenko on injured reserve, with Hitchcock telling Korac the young Russian forward has a ‘pretty severe’ facial laceration and ‘some form’ of concussion.
Tarasenko was taken to hospital on Wednesday and released in time to fly home with his Blues teammates.
He didn’t have a headache on Thursday but reportedly had one on Friday, partly why St. Louis put him on IR.
For Hitchcock, the problem with the Olver-Tarasenko hit goes beyond legality. The veteran head coach said the incident is part of a larger-scale discussion regarding young players, awareness, vulnerability and unsuspecting positions.
More, from Korac:
“Everybody says ‘well it’s a hockey play,’ or whatever. I think there’s a bigger picture for me here,” Hitchcock said. “It’s not so much Vladi, it’s all the young players.
“These are young players who are in unsuspecting situations. It just seems like there’s a lot of young players that are getting hurt because experienced players know where they can catch them in vulnerable situations That’s the part that bothers me.
“The hit is the hit. The part that really bothers me is all the young players who don’t expect to get hit and have to learn these type of lessons. [Colorado’s Gabriel] Landeskog or a Tarasenko, I’m sure there’s other ones, there’s lots of other ones and you just don’t like to see it.
“I wish there was a way that we could let the young guys play a little bit and not try to put them in unsuspecting [positions]. I don’t think in a million years he thought he would get hit in that situation.”
Aug 31, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Looking to score an AHL deal.
Aug 31, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
You can expect this question to be asked throughout the year.
Aug 31, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Heck, the ‘Hawks are still over the salary cap ceiling.
Aug 31, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Chicago’s star forward remains under police investigation.
Aug 31, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
Can his KHL success translate to North America?
Aug 31, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT
Plenty of changes in the Windy City.
Aug 31, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
The defending Stanley Cup champs dealt away key pieces in the offseason.
Aug 31, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Monday’s collection of links.
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The 36-year-old is still looking for a contract after being bought out by the Wild.
Aug 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
The Wild ranked 27th overall last season with the man advantage.
Aug 30, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
Granlund scored just eight goals last season while playing between Pominville and Parise.
Aug 30, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
He’s hoping to crack the Wild’s opening night roster after three seasons at the University of Minnesota.
Aug 30, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
He’ll have to prove last season was not a fluke.
Aug 30, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Both blue liners are unrestricted free agents.
Aug 30, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT
Can they take a step forward this season?
Aug 30, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Starring Devan Dubnyk.
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He’s currently an unrestricted free agent.
Aug 29, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
Columbus bet heavily on him this summer.
Aug 29, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Just making the postseason would be seen as a good season, but perhaps the Blue Jackets are in position to do more.
Aug 29, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Carey Price leads the pack.
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- Quebec City, Vegas advance to final phase of NHL expansion process 50
- Here’s the full NHL 2015 preseason schedule, starting Sept. 20 5