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Mitchell speaks out on hit ending his season

Friday, 05.14.2010 / 11:09 AM / News

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Mitchell speaks out on hit ending his season
Vancouver's Willie Mitchell speaks out on the hit that ended his season by the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin.
While cleaning out his locker on Thursday, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell voiced his displeasure at how NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell handles supplementary discipline.

Mitchell remains upset that Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was not suspended for a hit in a game Jan. 16 that left Mitchell with a concussion. Mitchell, who didn't play for the rest of the season after the hit, said he still suffers from concussion-related health issues.

Campbell said the play was reviewed. He told Canadian Press, "the hit did not require discipline."

"We in hockey operations, and particularly myself, take player safety and all player's actions very seriously," Campbell said in an email to The Canadian Press. "We have constantly reviewed supplemental discipline and head hits with the entire group of general managers at our GM's meetings to insure consistency."

Mitchell spoke two days after Chicago eliminated his Vancouver teammates in six games of a second-round series.

"I think the league needs to, along with our players' union, take a look at how they run the discipline in the league," Mitchell said. "Colin Campbell had a lot of relationships with general managers and ownership and stuff like that. It's very tough to hand down decisions on matters like this when you are friends with people.

Campbell offered to discuss the matter in more detail.

"If Willie Mitchell would like to meet, I would welcome this and we could discuss all applications of supplemental discipline and discuss what he feels are our shortcomings."
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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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