Chicago Blackhawks Brent Seabrook said he was disappointed that the NHL didn't suspend the Vancouver Canucks' Raffi Torres for a hit to the head in Sunday's game, a 3-2 loss.
Speaking to reporters early Monday afternoon, Seabrook also suggested that he didn't want to come out of the game after the initial hit by Torres and only went to the quiet room to be examined by medical personnel for concussion symptoms following a second hit by Torres because he was obliged to do so.
"I think with his history, that hit deserves a suspension," said Seabrook. "It's a fast game and things happen quick. You've got a split second to make a decision and I don't think he was trying to hit me in the head - but at the same time, if the league's not going to suspend somebody for that, I just don't really understand that.
"The league suspending on ... whether the guy's missing games, or the guy's lying there, or getting carried off on a stretcher, I think that's wrong. They're trying to change the game and they're trying to take head hits out of the game and you gotta make the same suspension, the same judgment, whether he's lying there, taken off on a stretcher, or playing the next shift."
TSN reported that NHL hockey operations did not believe the hit contravened the new blindside head shot rule and thus didn't warrant further disciplinary action. Torres was playing his first game since receiving a four-game suspension for a hit to the head of the Edmonton Oilers' Jordan Eberle.
Today, when Seabrook came to podium, I asked him if he thought about going to the dressing room after the first hit and he said: "No."
Because you felt okay?
"Because I want to play. It's the playoffs. We're all playing through injuries, bumps and bruises. It's one of those things, I want to win. I got a taste of it last year, winning a Stanley Cup. I want to get back there."
So did they force you to go to the quiet room after the second hit?
"Um ... yeah. Yeah."
Seabrook said he wouldn't have had a problem with the hit if it happened a split second later and he was in possession of the puck. As it was, Seabrook went behind the net to retrieve the puck and was looking in the direction he was going to make a play when Torres came in from the other end and steamrolled him to the ice.
"I remember feeling a guy on my back. I thought it was Torres, but it was actually (Mason) Raymond. I didn't even know he was there. If that's a split second later and I've got the puck, I'm fair game. When you have the puck, you're fair game.
"If he stays on the ice and drives his shoulder through my chest, that's the end of it. I'm for that. That's a hockey play. The thing I'm upset with is that he hit my head. It looks to me and it felt last night like the head was the first point of contact."
"I think he kept his elbow in, but he hit the head first," said Seabrook. "As far as I'm concerned, that's the first thing I felt, it's the only thing I felt. The rest of my body is feeling the rest of it today, but ... last night, all I could really feel was my ear and the way it looks to me was, the head was hit first. Whether he was targeting it or not, he hit the head first."