NHL Sources: Eric Nystrom unlikely to be suspended
- Blog Post by: Michael Russo
- October 1, 2011 - 5:27 PM
Updated with some more Nystrom quotes:
According to multiple league sources, Wild winger Eric Nystrom will almost certainly receive no supplemental discipline for last night's incident on an icing with Edmonton's Taylor Fedun.
Fedun broke his right femur when Nystrom tried to reach around him for the puck to beat out an icing.
After reviewing the initial video, the league has deemed this an unfortunate accident as of now. There's no evidence that Nystrom made any intentional, inappropriate contact with Fedun.
The league is still looking to make a formal review if it gets better video, and after it talks to Nystrom and Fedun. But as of now, it looks like it will be deemed an accident.
Rule 81.1 states: Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.
That is what happened. Nystrom made a legal play for the puck under the touch-icing rule (in fact, Nystrom beat out an icing last week against St. Louis to create a forecheck).
Sadly, this result was different and unfortunate.
Nystrom visited Fedun today in a local hospital, spent 10 minutes with him and repeatedly apologized. Nystrom is still extremely remorseful.
"It doesn't feel good to know that you're involved in something that hurt someone so seriously," Nystrom said. "All last night, all today, I feel like I can throw up. But he really appreciated me stopping by and I really appreciated him being so understanding. It's just a play that we've done so many times, just racing for the icing, and it's just one of those times that it turned bad. It stinks that something like this had to happen."
“No matter how many times I say sorry, he’ll still be in the spot that he is. It’s just a tough thing to be a part of."
On the icing debate: “I’ve done it a thousand times in my career just racing to beat an icing. That’s just what you’re taught to do – to hustle and not give up on the play, and that’s all I was trying to do there.
“It’s sad that somebody has to get hurt to talk about it. Guys are just so fast now and so big that just racing like that is so dangerous. This is something that I’m sure will bring the [icing debate] conversation back to the table.”
On the pep talk he gave Fedun: "He’s going to bounce back stronger than ever. You don’t make it to the NHL by being a quitter and by not being able to persevere through things. He’s going to rehab, get well and get back on the ice and right back where he was."
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