BOSTON - Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron said Thursday that the NHL must crack down on hits from behind, like the one that left him with a severe concussion and a broken nose.
"Hitting is part of the game, but not from behind," Bergeron said at a news conference. "It's in the rules. You see a player's name and number, you need to stop.
"We need to respect the players. Now we see the consequences. Fortunately I can sit up here, I'm not in a wheelchair."
It was the first time Bergeron, one of Boston's top players, has spoken publicly since he was injured during the Oct. 27 game against Philadelphia.
Bergeron was unconscious after being pushed into the boards face-first by Flyers defenceman Randy Jones. Bergeron, 22, was taken from the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in hospital.
Jones, who was suspended for two games by the NHL for the hit, has tried to contact Bergeron.
"He left a message left week. I wasn't feeling comfortable," said Bergeron, who was wearing a neck brace. "He apologized and said (he) didn't mean to do it."
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has said concussions like the one Bergeron suffered usually take at least a month to come back from, and the team has not estimated when he might return.