Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray feels like his team dodged a bullet. Cam Fowler is expected to miss two to six weeks with a sprained knee. It’s a big gap of time, but the team is expected to know which one it’s closer when Fowler is re-examined next week.
“When I saw the hit, your heart goes in your mouth,” said Murray. “We may have gotten a little bit of a break.”
He’s not kidding.
The hit on Fowler by Mark Giordano appeared to bend the defenseman’s knee sideways.
— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) April 5, 2017
It could have been much, much worse.
Murray did not hold back when addressing what he felt was Giordano’s responsibility in leaving the Ducks without one of their top d-men.
“I hear how Gio is a good guy, and he’s this and he’s that,” said Murray. “The media in Toronto is saying, ‘Well he’s a good guy.’ Well he’s done this before.
“Knees, they wreck your careers real quick. I don’t like it. I know I’ve said too much but I don’t care.”
The GM is probably thinking back to 2011.
Then-Duck Bobby Ryan was on the wrong end of a knee-on-knee encounter with Giordano that Ryan felt was dirty. No suspension or fine came of the play. In fact, the Department of Player Safety was not announced until June of that year.
Speaking of Player Safety, the department decided against disciplining Giordano for the contact with Fowler. The hit was likely considered a ‘hockey play’ and not one that was done with malice (allegedly).
Whatever the Department of Player Safety said to Murray did not go over well. The GM went on to slam the department without naming it directly.
“It was dismissed very quickly by the people in charge,” said Murray. “That’s their job. So I guess that’s the standard. If that’s the standard, that’s the standard.
“I have no use … I mean, the big thing in hockey today is concussions, but I still, as an old player, have no use for knee-on-knee hits, and especially if I think they are somewhat intentional.
When asked if he felt like it was an intent to injure, Murry replied tersely, “I did not like the hit.”
Addressing the hit after Tuesday’s game, Giordano said, “I hope [Fowler’s] okay. You don’t like to see guys hurt. There was no intent there.”
Kind words won’t heal knees (unless a wizard is involved). Fowler is still going to miss – at the very least – the first round of the playoffs, and who knows if the Ducks will make it out of there.
The Ducks are testing their defensive depth at the scariest time. The squad is already without Hampus Lindholm who is out with an upper-body injury. Koribinian Holzer is missing Thursday’s game as he had to return to Germany to take care of a personal matter. Top defensive prospects Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour were with the team at the time of Fowler’s injury. Jaycob Megna was recalled from San Diego on Thursday and is in the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks.
There is a slight possibility the two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. Considering the teams combined for 112 penalty minutes in Tuesday’s game, that would be a fun match up. Fun and bloody.