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Pens announce Neal has concussion after Del Zotto elbow

Apr 8, 2013, 1:02 PM EDT

On Monday, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters that forward James Neal has suffered a concussion, and won’t travel with the team on its upcoming road trip through Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.

Neal, 25, was injured during Friday’s 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers following this third-period hit by New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto:

Neal left the game with 8:42 left and didn’t return. Del Zotto wasn’t penalized on the play and later told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he was bracing himself during the collision.

“I think they just dumped [the puck] in, and I knew I was going to get hit on the forecheck,” he explained. “I just tried to kind of reverse hit and brace myself. I’m not sure exactly what happened.”

On Saturday, it was learned the NHL wouldn’t be scheduling a disciplinary hearing for Del Zotto.

Neal, who has no previous history of concussions, is Pittsburgh’s third-leading scorer this season with 18G-14A-32PTS.

He’s coming off a 2011-12 season in which he scored a career-high 40 goals and was named to his first NHL All-Star Game.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    I don’t think anyone really comments on any of the Pennsylvania-based teams so maybe this will get one or two comments.

    • govtminion - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      The fans want more Florida and Phoenix stories. What do you do?

      • elvispocomo - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        Don’t forget the clamouring for Minnesota stories.

  2. killerpgh - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    That sucks.

  3. ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    must be something in the water in PA. both teams bitten HARD by the injury bug.

  4. yougotgirouxed - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Indirect payback for the playoffs last year. Cooter has too much class to throw one back at him.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      aw damnit dude you had to go there? Flyers/Pens posts have been at least SOMEWHAT civil the past week.

      • crosberries - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        You can’t talk too much trash when your in the basement that’s why they have been civil. Torts would of been all over this had it been vice versa “the pens are the dirtiest team in the league” “he should be suspended the rest of his life!!!!”

    • sportsfreak13 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      So using your logic giroux “deserves” a concussion too considering his flying elbow against the devils.

    • tfaltin - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      The shot heard ’round the (PHT) world was just fired.

    • pens5829 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Don’t even go there moron. After the BS boarding on Coburn, you clowns have no room to talk.

  5. bmscalise - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    This announcement should have been pretty obvious to everyone who saw him ask the trainer what happened. At least the Pens don’t try to hide the obvious, like the Leafs do. That’s so sketchy.

    • bohman88 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Yea, he was dazed. Good thing they loaded up before the deadline.

  6. broadstbully33 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM


    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Can’t blame you for being in a good mood – Flyguys managed to stay above .500 for a few hours there. Highlight of the year for you I’m sure.

      • drone501 - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:53 PM

        people, can’t we all get along? looks like pens going to be playing nj or rangers. think flyers don’t have a prayer. im worried about toronto, if we see them

    • miketoasty - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Wow coming from someone who lost Pronger for the rest of his career to a concusion. Hope you find that funny as well, what a scumbag.

      • drone501 - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        meant islanders.

  7. steelpenbucs87 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    I didn’t think this was intentional – unfortunate yes, a penalty yes, but I just find it hard to believe that in that moment, when DZ is trying to protect the puck that he had the presence of mind to see Neal coming and then to do a spinning elbow to Neal’s head.

    Tough loss with Neal – it looked bad. Hopefully it doesn’t linger and he’s healthy by the playoffs. Really interested to see how this shifts the lines for the coming week. My guess:
    But then again Disco juggles the lines so much I’m sure they will be all over the place.

  8. miketoasty - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Heard that Neal and Del Zotto are friends which continues to lead me to believe this wasn’t a malicious hit, even as a Pens fan you can’t think that it was. Just a guy bracing for a hit and nothing more. I wish James Neal the best and that he makes a speedy recovery.

    • killerpgh - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      I don’t think his intent was to concussion Neal or anything like that, but I don’t buy the bracing for contact excuse either. Players don’t usually jump if they are bracing themselves for contact. I think it was a reckless play were he was worried Neal was gonna get position on him and he was trying to get a peice of Neal. Unfortunately he caught Neal in the head with an elbow.

  9. mnfan2013 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Another PENGUIN down …… how many more to go . ? Can’t wait for CROSBY to return ….. maybe another teammate will hit him again :) …… thank you DEL ZOTTO !!!

    • bohman88 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM


      • barkar942 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Yeah, LOW classy!
        Look, I don’t feel tha DelZ had any inkling of hitting Neal in the chin. I think he saw Neal switching sides he was coming in on and tried to make himself big and tried to catch him with the arm in the side or chest, but Neal bent forward and it allowed for contact to the chin.
        Concussions are obviously a serious issue for the league.
        I said it after Crosby and Staal were hit in the faces.
        Put on this helmet and the three injuries are either massively minimized or non-existent.

    • pens5829 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Another moron on PHT!!! Dumb@ss.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Not everyone from MN thinks like this dbag.

      as mug as I can’t stand the penguins (from north star days, and current) I would never wish harm on 99% of the players in this league. Someone like Avery has made me want to grab a baseball bat at times, if you follow me. Tough break guys, speedy recovery for one of the games better players.

      wild fan

  10. malkinrulez - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    After years on PHT I have come to learn the majority of people on here are people who love hockey and respect the game, than there is the minority for all teams who are simply looking for a reaction. I hate what Chris Pronger is going through and wouldn’t wish that on anyone . Hope Neal gets healthy because we need him.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      … and then there are the people that thumbs down good comments like this.

      • barkar942 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        Probably from three of the pittsbeercanmalkindong users. He only had time to log in three times them mommy made him go walk the dog and clean up the mess he left on the kitchen table from his breakfast that he ate after he got his jobless butt up after 12pm.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        that’s oddly specific. are you sure that didn’t just happen to you and you just typed it out as an insult?

        (lol sorry, i know you were siding with me…. just struck me as a likely scenario)

  11. sabatimus - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I know I’m going to get roundly booed for this, but I think Del Zotto was expecting a hit, and brought his elbow backward intentionally for that reason. At least that’s what it looked like.

    • govtminion - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      To be honest, that’s what I thought as well.

  12. yougotgirouxed - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Honestly, there is no point in putting people down for not being classy on the PHT comment section. Neal is a classless player on the ice so he doesnt deserve a classy comment.

    • sportsfreak13 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Ahh good old Philly logic there again. So hartnell, who I think leads the league in penalty minutes this year deserves unlimited articles/comments spewing hate towards him then?

    • bgrillz - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      And being a Philly fan, you would know all about classlessness…

      • tfaltin - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        ^ New word. Puts M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i to shame for double esses.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      dude, yougotgirouxed, you consistently make me hate myself for siding with Pens fans. please stop now.

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Same thing happens to me when that pens troll with 5 different lame names trolls flyer articles. Wouldn’t it be weird if they were the same person who just loves to watch the comment section burn.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        lol I could see that… he’s also got multiple Habs/Bruins, Hawks/Wings, and Sharks/Kings names.

        “habsman, is that you!?”

    • pens5829 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Moron alert!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Dude we don’t need any more people hating Philly fans. Don’t you get tired of Pens fans trolling Flyers articles? I do, so stop trolling Pens articles! The incessant cycle of crap will never stop unless ppl like you start showing some class. I don’t like the way Neal has played the Flyers in the past but wishing injury on him only reflects poorly on you. Concussions are the new plague of professional sports and you’d think the Flyers past history (Pronger, Lindros, Primeau, etc) dealing with them would make you act differently towards opposing players unlucky enough to go through them.

  13. cameltoews - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:30 PM


    • steelpenbucs87 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      I have no idea what you mean by your comment, but I felt compelled to say that your Alias is easily one of the funniest I’ve seen.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        ^^^ lol somebody’s (the thumbs-downer) butthurt that you didn’t say that about THEIR name.

        i always find the thumbs downs on this site funny. it’s like there’s some dude with grumpy cat face on just goin down the list thumbs downing everything…. like not even team biased or opinionated stuff. just like “STUPID SHEEPLE, REMEMBER THE LOCKOUT!?”

  14. broadstbully33 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM


    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM


    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM


  15. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Let’s hope some good can come out of this and the hit knocked some goals back into him. His tap has seemed to be more frozen than the ice he’s skating on recently. In all seriousness, he doesn’t have a history so since it’s his first one I’m gonna cross my fingers and hope it’s a quick turn around. Hopefully he’ll be back by the Sens/Devils roadtrip at the end of the month. Between Martin, Letang, Neal, and Crosby, I think as long as they get at least 3 of those 4 back by the playoffs they should be able to get out of the first round pretty smoothly.

    Despite all the injuries, it’s nice for Despres and Bennett that they’re getting the NHL experience. Both seem to just get better and better with every game they play. It’d be nice to have both of them up there full-time next season.

    • barkar942 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      I think if there is one team that can can the Pens out of the playoffs, it will be the Islanders in the first round. They are a young and talented team finally starting to show some maturity and the two already have quite a history with each other.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        i’m honestly looking forward to a NYI/PIT series if the Flyers can’t make it. both teams are super fast, neither has a huge size advantage, and there’s a lot of talent on both those teams. obviously, NYI is the underdogs… but I agree, they could give PIT a run for their money.

  16. President Charles Logan - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:06 PM


  17. cameltoews - Apr 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Can’t we just all agree that this is hockey and sometimes players do stupid sh*t not meaning to hurt someone. The speed the game is played today the margin of error is so small. You think you have a player lined up for a clean hit next thing you know they turn their back and you crush them in the numbers. Now yes there are some players that cross the line knowing good and well it’s going to be a dirty hit. But, as I stated a few times before Del Z is not by any means that type of player.

  18. jaredo10 - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Hope Neal and Crosby come back soon. so that theres no excuses for a round 1 exit. LGR

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