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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund says incident with Wild's Mikko Koivu is old news



It was big news when it happened.

When then-Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund broke a bone in the left leg of Wild star Mikko Koivu with a two-handed slash, there were threats of retaliation in what already was a testy rivalry between the two teams. Koivu apparently is still mad about the incident which came at the end of a Nov. 16, 2007 game in Vancouver. Ohlund got a four-game suspension and Koivu missed 24 games.

The Canucks and Wild have met several times since without Ohlund being involved in another major incident. But when Ohlund, now with the Lightning, was asked if he was worried about retaliation when the teams meet Thursday at the St. Pete Times Forum, he said no.

"We've played against each other a lot of times before this," Ohlund said. "I haven't even thought about it, no."

At the time of his suspension, Ohlund said he respected the NHL's decision. But he also said the elbow Koivu threw at him, which got him a two-minute penalty and prompted Ohlund's action, also should have been reviewed.

"I think that would have been pretty fair," Ohlund said at the time. "I don't think (the elbow) was a very good play on his part, but, obviously, I wish I would have done something differently than what i did. But things happen in the heat of the moment, and it's something I'm just going to have to deal with."

Other stuff from today's practice: Coach Rick Tocchet kept defenseman Victor Hedman (concussion) as probable for Thursday's game. Hedman has participated in three straight full practices. ... With Drew Miller out of the mix after he was picked up on waivers by the Red Wings, here were the lines at practice: Ryan Malone-Vinny Lecavalier-Alex Tanguay; Stephane Veilleux-Steven Stamkos-Marty St. Louis; James Wright-Jeff Halpern-Steve Downie; Todd Fedoruk-Zenon Konopka-Ryan Craig. ... Stamkos left practice a bit early, his left wrist wrapped from Tuesday's fall into the boards. ... It's pretty apparent Tampa Bay will go with Antero Niittymaki in net. "People keep winning, it would be crazy not to play them," Tocchet said. Nittymaki is 2-0-2 in his past five games with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage. ... With league GMs debating a head-shot rule, Tocchet said he would rather see the instigator rule taken out of the game. "It's such a gray area," he said of head shots, "I'd like the players to control that. You have somebody out of control out there, then he's going to have to pay the price. Personally, I think the fact there are players out there who know nothing can happen to them, those are the guys who increase the percentage of head shots. If that can be eliminated, you wouldn't have these guys running around."

[Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 12:15am]


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