Anaheim Ducks alternate captain Chris Pronger will not play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final after receiving a one-game suspension for his elbow on Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond last night in Game 3. Pronger wasn't initially penalized on the play that came early in the third period, but the NHL reviewed the hit and handed down the punishment this morning. McAmmond says the suspension is warranted.
"I think it should have been a suspension because it was a blow to the head," McAmmond said this morning. "It wasn't incidental. It's not like that couldn't have been avoided."
The veteran centre left last night's game with a head injury and is listed as day-to-day. McAmmond updated his status this morning.
"I'm feeling pretty much the same as I was yesterday - a little bit 'headachy,' not feeling quite right. I'm going to do everything I can, or as little as I can, to feel good tomorrow. I want to play but at this point in time, I'm not sure right now."
Senators head coach Bryan Murray says the Pronger suspension fits into the NHL's goal of trying to eliminate shots to the head.
"I think the history of Chris Pronger comes into play a little bit. There was a very obvious elbow to the head, and we've adamantly gone after the fact that hits to the head cause damage and should be penalized severely. In this case they (NHL) did it."
Said Senators general manager John Muckler, "It's no doubt that he did this on purpose. Unfortunately, we have a player that is injured and has a concussion and it's doubtful whether he'll be able to play on Monday. Hopefully he will. We just have to move forward."
Pronger was also suspended for Game 4 in Round 3 of the 2007 playoffs after a hit to the head on Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom.