PHILADELPHIA -- New York Islanders
defenseman Brendan Witt
is used to taking hard hits. But he's used to taking them on the ice, not en route to getting his morning coffee.
Witt was leaving the team's Center City hotel and crossing Arch Street when he was hit by a gold SUV.
"I had the right of way, going across the pedestrian line, and I saw there was a gold Tahoe or Yukon was trying to get in the left lane to turn, and decided to turn, and in the corner of my eye, I saw it and jumped up and took the brunt of it," Witt said. "I did a nice roll and dismount. It was OK."
Witt said that while he saw the truck coming, he still was stunned by what was happening.
"It was weird, like slow-motion," he said. "I just reacted by bracing myself by jumping up and taking the brunt of the force and just rolling. Got up, realized I was OK, was like, 'Is this going on for real?' Then I threw out some profanities at the guy."
One witness told Newsday, "It was like seeing Clint Eastwood, but in hockey."
"People are rushing around to make sure I was OK; that was nice for people in Philly to come to your aid," Witt said. "They asked if they should call an ambulance. I said I'm OK, don't worry about it. Just got my coffee and that was it."
Witt said the driver apologized, and the defenseman said he wasn't going to file a police report.
"I think he's lucky that I was OK," Witt said. "He's happy I was OK. He apologized."
After successfully getting his coffee, Witt went to the Wachovia Center for the Isles' morning skate and was in the lineup Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-2, 223-pound defenseman, who is second on the Isles with 56 hits and third with 50 blocked shots, tried to play down what happened.
"I didn't look, but I might have put a dent in his truck," Witt said.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com.