As strange as it sounds, add Steve Ott's name to the growing list of NHL players who want action taken against head shots.
Ott, the Dallas Stars' irascible, oft-suspended forward, was on the receiving end of a head-high elbow in Tuesday's game against the San Jose Sharks. Dany Heatley was called for interference on the play but not elbowing.
After the game, which included other head-shot incidents, Ott said he expected the NHL to review what he called "Heatley's little cheap shot."
"If this doesn't get looked at, I don't know. I guess when you're used to being on the other end and being suspended in the past, I think it's pretty evident where this stuff should go in a hurry," Ott told reporters. "I don't care if Heatley makes $10-million or ([Sharks' defenceman Doug]Murray makes less, it's time to get this out of the game as fast as we can. Protect the guys. We're going to have guys that are going to be icing heads now. You only have one brain, so let's honestly start figuring something out."
Murray was involved in a pair of incidents against Dallas. In the first, he shoulder-rammed the Stars' Loui Eriksson just as he was reaching for a loose puck. Eriksson needed help getting off the ice and never returned to action. That led to Ott challenging Murray to a fight.
Then, later in the game, Murray got his elbow up on the Stars' Tomas Vincour, with no penalty called.
"I think Colin Campbell's got his hands full, that's for sure," Ott said of the NHL's director of hockey operations. "I think the Loui Eriksson hit is prototypical. He's reaching for the hit. The big guy knows what he's doing. He's bearing down and finishing the check. He did it again on an offensive play against Vincour, elbowed him right in the face. My head's killin' me from this light right now from Dany Heatley's little cheap shot."
While Ott has a career pockmarked with questionable plays, his words add to the chorus of NHL players who want something done to help protect them on the ice. As a final note: San Jose's Niclas Wallin was run into the boards from behind by Dallas's Jamie Langenbrunner and had to leave the game. His status remains unknown.
All this occurred on Day 2 of the NHL's general managers' meeting in Florida.
Heatley had a disciplinary hearing with the NHL office set for Wednesday afternoon.