NHL reviewing hit on Lecavalier
Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said NHL disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, has asked for a medical report on the injury to Vinny Lecavalier; the logical speculation being the league is investigating whether the Capitals' Matt Cooke deserves punishment for his hit on the Lightning superstar.
Lecavalier's right shoulder may have been seriously hurt in the third period of Thursday night's game after he was checked by Washington's hard-hitting forward with an open-ice hit. Lecavalier, who had been skating without the puck, bounced off Cooke and then smacked into teammate Michel Ouellet, who was nearby carrying the puck along the left wing boards.
Lecavalier was on the ice for several minutes before skating off the ice. The team said Lecavalier was hurt on Cooke's hit not when he fell to the ice as was originally believed.
No penalty was called, and Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game Cooke was looking to hit Ouellet until Lecavalier skated in front of him. Cooke did not speak after the game and did not attend an optional practice Friday, and has yet to comment. But Feaster said Friday that Campbell told him he believed the hit warranted a "five-minute major for interference.'' A call to the NHL was not immediately returned, but if discipline is handed down, it will be announced before Washington's game Saturday with the Panthers.
"His comment was it deserved a five-minute major for interference,'' Feaster said. "I would suspect that he asked for a medical report means he's reviewing it. Whether they decide there's any supplemental discipline warranted, I don't know. But the fact that he asked for a report means at least he's taking a look at the incident.''
Lecavalier, 27, one of the league's top players did not accompany the team to Atlanta for Saturday's season finale against the Thrashers. Instead he went back to Tampa for more tests with team physician Ira Guttentag. Feaster said Lecavalier had an X-ray after the game in Washington. All he would say is, "It's not a bump.''
More information is expected Saturday.