Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson was scheduled to have a 1 p.m. meeting with NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell about his hit on Jason Pominville, and there's no word yet on a suspension. A vocal and agitated Ryan Miller hopes it's a substantial one.
"No matter badly Hjalmarsson feels, it’s still an illegal hit, it still put our guy out and it’s still suspendable in my mind," the Sabres' goaltender said today. "It absolutely needs to be punished. I don’t care if it’s unintentional. That’s what we need to get away from in hockey right now, the culture of it where, 'I was trying to make a play, therefore it’s not my fault.'
"A hockey hit is to separate a man from the puck, not anticipating the puck getting there, hitting him from behind and driving him into the boards. So you have two things right there: The puck wasn’t completely there, it was anticipation of it, there’s no separation and it’s a hit from behind.
"It’s completely something where I don’t know if enough was made of it because Jason is walking out with just stitches. What if Jason has a fractured neck? We don’t even know if it’s going to have an impact with concussion, so I just think no matter how badly Hjalmarsson feels, no matter if it’s unintentional, we have to change the culture of it if we’re ever going to change the situations we’re seeing, where guys are laying on the ice bleeding and missing time with concussions. It’s completely an unnecessary play.
"I’m glad he admitted to it and didn’t need to do it, but you’ve got to change the culture sometime, and I hope the league wakes up and sets a precedent for the year."
The complete audio of Miller's chat is below.