Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis insinuated that Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk should be suspended for the hit on Mason Raymond that resulted in a vertebrae compression fracture in Game 6. Raymond's injury will take at least three months to heal.
Boychuk wasn't penalized for the play. Both players were moving fairly slowly when Boychuk's hockey stick went between Raymond's legs and turned him as the two hit the boards. If intentional, such a maneuver, nicknamed a can opener is ruled obstruction and results in a two-minute penalty.
I didn't see the puck around him, Gillis said yesterday. I thought the Boston player used a can opener and drove him into the boards with enough force to break his back.
Gillis quickly backed off the issue to prevent the National Hockey League from fining him for criticizing officials. I'm not in charge of supplementary discipline, so I'm not the right person to ask about [a suspension]. I think when you see the severity of that injury, the way our doctors described it to me, very, very dangerous, and, you know, I'm always disappointed when you see any player get injured, said Gillis. It wasn't a chipped vertebrae or cracked vertebrae. It's broken through the belly of his vertebrae, so it's a very serious injury. You never want to see any player on any team have an injury like that.
The NHL official in charge of discipline for this year's Stanley Cup, Mike Murphy, called the play an awkward collision and said he didn't feel disciplinary action was required.
Gillis' comments will keep the bad blood boiling between the two teams, who have accused each other of dirty play throughout the Stanley Cup Finals. The deciding seventh game will be played tonight in Vancouver.