May 6, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
“I want to reiterate that on Saturday there was no intent to injure,” Abdelkader told the Macomb Daily. “I don’t mean to injure anyone, put anyone at harm.
“I have respect for every one of the players in this hockey league. It’s a privilege that we get to play in the NHL.”
The hit occurred late in the second period of Saturday’s 4-0 loss, with Abdelkader getting a five-minute charging major and game misconduct:This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Abdelkader was subsequently suspended two games by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, who called the hit “violent,” adding the Detroit winger “made significant head contact” with Lydman.
The 26-year-old said the speed and physicality of his game played a role in what transpired.
“I play a hard game, I play physical. I’m going to still play my physical game, get in on the forecheck, finish checks, but I’ve got to be smart about it,” he explained. “The speed of the game, it happens so fast.
“It’s unfortunate what happened.”
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 0
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 2
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 10
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 33
- Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis 9
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 32
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 3
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 4
- Now feels like a good time to debate Stamkos’ next contract 38
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)