Wild's Cal Clutterbuck says NHL is giving him no respect
Dec 03, 2011 (Menafn - Pioneer Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck is getting ticked off about what might be perceived as a lack of respect from the NHL.
Clutterbuck, who missed Friday night's victory over the New Jersey Devils at the Xcel Energy Center because of a severe charley horse, was knocked to the ice when the Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Whitney got him in the thigh with a knee Wednesday night. Whitney caught Clutterbuck just above the left knee, sending him sprawling near the Minnesota goal crease in pain.
There was no penalty on Whitney, and the NHL did not hold a hearing about the hit.
"It's not a clean play. First of all, I didn't have the puck," Clutterbuck said Friday morning, adding that Whitney stuck his knee out. "It's against the rules. It'd be nice to have guys be held accountable for those things, but obviously somebody felt that it wasn't necessary."
Clutterbuck noted that if he had been hit two inches lower, a severe knee injury might have resulted.
The NHL's leading hitter the past three seasons and a fan favorite in Minnesota, Clutterbuck plays a sometimes-antagonizing style that makes him unpopular in some circles around the league. If a star had been injured on a similar play, he wondered, would the league have investigated the hit?
"If that happens to Sidney Crosby, what kind of uproar is there?" Clutterbuck said. "That's my issue with the whole thing. It just depends who it happens to."
Last March, Clutterbuck received a concussion when he was checked from
behind by Trevor Gillies of the New York Islanders, who got no additional penalty from the league. The concussion kept Clutterbuck out of the lineup for four games, and he said at that time the NHL erred by not tacking on a suspension.
Clutterbuck's toughness probably works against him in these cases: Against the Islanders, he stayed in the game after he was hit, and in Edmonton, he hobbled off the ice late in the first period but tried to play in the second before his leg buckled and he knew his night was over.
"It was painful," he said.
There was still plenty of pain when he skated Friday morning, and the leg was not up to allowing him to play against the Devils.
Coach Mike Yeo said Clutterbuck will accompany the Wild on their road trip, which begins Sunday night against the Ducks in Anaheim. His status is listed as day to day.
Powe returns: Darroll Powe, who was knocked into an open door at the Oilers' bench Wednesday night and also suffered a charley horse, skated in practice Friday morning and was back in the lineup against New Jersey.
"Things healed up pretty quick," Powe said. "I'm definitely happy to be back. One day being out seems like a long time."
That was good news for Yeo, because the line of Kyle Brodziak, Nick Johnson and Powe has been one of Minnesota's most consistent at both ends of the ice lately.
Defenseman Justin Falk sat out with an upper-body injury. Yeo said it's not serious, and Falk was not even listed among those sidelined by injury in the game notes. He was in obvious pain after Sunday's 5-2 loss to Calgary, however.
Briefly: Forward David McIntyre was Minnesota's healthy scratch, making room for forward Cody Almond. Almond, who suffered a back injury in training camp, was unable to practice until he was sent to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League to work himself back into shape. He was called up Thursday.
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