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Hit on Ferraro earns suspension

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Landon Ferraro was not hurt Saturday night in Ottawa, despite a check to the head from Ottawa's Mark Stone. Stone was suspended for two games. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- The NHL's Department of Player Safety has suspended Ottawa's Mark Stone two games for his hit on Detroit's Landon Ferraro.

At 11:08 of the second period Saturday night in Ottawa, Stone hit Ferraro and was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head.

"I just saw him at the very last second," Ferraro said after Monday's practice at Grosse Pointe's University Liggett. "I just tried to get my head out of the way as much as I could. I was able to pull it back a little bit. I don't know, just hit and then I didn't really know what was going on for the first second. I got up pretty quick. It was more kind of to tell myself I was all right.

"Whether he meant to or not, I don't think he tried to but that's what we're trying to get out of the game. It's scary but I'm all right."

Ferraro left for the dressing room but returned to the ice before the end of the period.

"You have to go back there, they gotta make sure you're all right," Ferraro said. "I just wanted to get back and get back on the ice as quick as I could, not anything more than just for myself to know that, OK, I'm all right and I can keep going. I feel fine now."

Ferraro told the Wings' trainers that he was fine so they could relay that information to the Department of Player Safety.

Ferraro knew that Stone had a hearing with the Department of Player Safety Monday morning but did not know the outcome.

The Department of Player Safety issued its decision shortly after 2 p.m.

Stephane Quintal, the senior vice president of player safety, explained the two-game suspension in a league video.

"As the video shows, Stone is cycling up the half wall in the offensive zone," Quintal said. "He moves the puck to teammate Patrick Wiercioch at the point and begins circling back into the slot. After a shot by Wiercioch is blocked, Stone accelerates towards the loose puck, hoping for a rebound. Stone is beaten to the puck by Ferraro, who quickly fires it out of the defensive zone. Immediately after Ferraro clears the puck, Stone clips Ferraro in the jaw with his right shoulder, making the head the main point of contact and sending him to the ice. This is an illegal check to the head. We accept Stone's description of the play, which is that he is attempting to corral a loose puck for a scoring chance and that once he recognizes that Ferraro has moved the puck, he moves to get a piece of Ferraro in an attempt to slow him up and prevent an odd-man rush toward the Ottawa net.

"However, once Stone changes from attacking a loose puck to initiating a hit, the onus is on him to deliver that hit in a legal manner. Here, in part because he was not originally planning on delivering a hit, he delivers a reckless shoulder to the head of an opponent, making the head the main point of contact. To summarize, this was an illegal check to the head. While he was attended to on the ice, Ferraro suffered no injury on the play. Stone has been neither fined nor suspended previously in his 114 NHL game career."

Stone is also known to the Wings for last year when his skate accidentally cut Drew Miller's face at the end of March, forcing Miller to get more than 50 stitches.

Stone currently leads the Senators in scoring with 13 points.

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