ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jason Chimera was been wheeled off the ice on a stretcher after being checked into the boards by Minnesota Wild center Eric Belanger.
The hit came with 6:17 to play in the second period of Minnesota's 2-0 preseason victory Friday night.
Chimera appeared to go into the boards face first after getting hit by Belanger. He stayed down on the ice for about 5 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and wheeled off. He gave two thumbs up on his way off and a team official said he was coherent. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
"From my view, it looked like he just had no chance to protect himself," Columbus forward Rick Nash said. "Obviously, (Belanger) doesn't have a history of (playing dirty) and he seems to be a pretty fair player. But I don't know, I need to see the replay and judge from that."
Belanger was assessed a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Belanger said he left Chimera a message wishing him well. He said he's not a dirty player and that he thought Chimera saw him coming into the corner.
"I didn't leave my feet, I didn't hit his head," Belanger said. "It's just bad luck."
Chimera was bloodied after being hit in the face with a deflected puck in the first period.