Dirty hit could land Witt suspension

September 13, 2009, 9:44 AM


New York Islanders defenceman Brendan Witt could be facing disciplinary action for his elbow to the head on Niklas Hagman of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Witt received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for clipping the Leafs forward at 2:21 of the third period. Hagman, who battled concussion problems last December, was helped off the ice and did not return.

Sean Bergenheim scored a short-handed goal for the Islanders on the five-minute penalty for the hit, but Pavel Kubina later added a power-play goal for Toronto. The Leafs went onto win, 5-4, in a shootout.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson refused to comment on the hit after the game, saying he did not see the play.

“I didn’t even see it. I guess (it was an) elbow to the head,” Wilson said. “He got a five-minute major and a game misconduct so the rest of it is up to the league.”

Witt has been suspended once before by the National Hockey League, in 2006 as a member of the Nashville Predators. He served a one-game suspension for a collision with David Vyborny of the Blue Jackets that left the Columbus forward with a knee injury.

Hagman has provided the Leafs with some offensive spark since signing with the club as a free agent in the off-season. In 58 games with the Blue & White, Hagman has 19 goals and 18 assists.


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