Carolina GM gets angry…and with good reason

Rookie forward Brandon Sutter of the Carolina Hurricanes suffered a devastating blow on Saturday night when he was knocked unconscious for several minutes after being hit in the head by Islander Doug Weight.

Sutter, the son of Devils’ head coach Brent Sutter, was released from the hospital on Sunday.

GM Jim Rutherford has had enough and is taking a swing at the NHL. Four of his players have suffered serious head injuries in the last few years due to blows to the head, and only one player has been suspended for the hit.

“The league should at least stop saying it’s concerned with hits to the head, because it’s not,” Rutherford told TSN. “I’ve had four players – Erik Cole, Trevor Letowski, Matt Cullen and now Sutter – get badly injured on hits to the head and only one of the guys who hit them was suspended. So don’t tell me the league is concerned about hits to the head because it’s not.”

“You can say it’s a contact game and it is, and I’m fine with that,” added Rutherford. “Just don’t say you care about players getting hit in the head because you don’t.”

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau is similarly upset, since Andrei Kostitsyn suffered an apparent concussion more than a week ago due to a hit to the head by Phoenix defenceman Kurt Sauer.

“They’re trying to eliminate hits to the head and this was a hit to the head, whether or not it was intentional. He got him with his arm,” he said after the game.

He went on to say that players need to make a choice before hitting someone who has their head down.

On the other side of the fence would be Brian Burke, who appeared on TSN’s Off The Record last week and basically said, ‘If someone gets hit in the head and suffers a head injury, oh well. It’s part of the game.’

Yeah, ‘cuz THAT sounds great. I wonder if he would feel the same way if his kids had their brains bruised from Chris Pronger’s flying elbow.

Schenn staying with the big boys

It seemed as though the media was asking only one question all week: will Toronto defenceman Luke Schenn stay with the Maple Leafs, or will he be returned to the Kelowna Rockets?

Coach Ron Wilson gave Luke his answer yesterday: he’ll stay with Toronto…for now, anyways.

If the 18-year-old defenceman stays in the NHL for 10 games this season, he will use up the first year of his entry-level contract. If he stays for 40 games, this season will count towards his time served with the Leafs as it relates to filing for free agency in the future.

Wilson is obviously impressed with the play of Schenn, especially considering that he has been rewarded with an average of 21 minutes of ice time so far this season.

Then again, look at what else Wilson has to work with on the blue line.

Ovechkin gone back to Russia

No, the KHL has not lured Ovie back to Mother Russia, but the real reason why Ovechkin has flown back home is even more sad.

Alex’s grandfather is very ill, and he has decided to go back home to spend some time with him.

The Caps have listed him as day-to-day as they receive word on the health of Grandpa Ovechkin, and Alex will miss tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators, at the very least.

And the host for the 2011 World Juniors is…

USA Hockey announced yesterday that the city of Buffalo will host the 2011 World Juniors tournament from December 26, 2010 to January 6, 2011. The Buffalo Sabres and HSBC Arena will host the tournament, along with Niagara University.

“We are honored that USA Hockey has chosen the Buffalo Sabres and HSBC Arena as the host for the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Tournament,” said Tom Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres. “All of Western New York will benefit greatly from this world-class event being staged right here in Buffalo.”

It’s time to start planning the road trip now that we know where the tournament is going to be held.