Aaron Ekblad on Max Domi’s punch: ‘Scores will get settled’

Watch as Max Domi drops Aaron Ekblad with a couple shots to the face, even though the Panthers star clearly didn’t want to fight.

Aaron Ekblad says Max Domi‘s punch to his face was “dumb” and that “scores will get settled” in his first comments since the Wednesday’s incident in Montreal.

“It’s dumb, I think he’s stupid for doing it,” Ekblad said Friday. “In the end, it’s hockey. That’s the way it goes, scores will get settled at a later date.”

In the third period of Wednesday’s pre-season game between the Panthers and Canadiens, Domi received a match penalty for punching Ekblad in the face after the defenceman declined an invitation to fight.

Ekblad, who has a history of concussions, left the game to go through concussion protocol but tests came back negative.

For his crime, the NHL suspended Domi for the remainder of the pre-season but no regular season games. Ekblad said the suspension was “a gift.”

“I don’t want to comment too much on the league’s decision but I think it’s wrong,” Ekblad said. “That’s life though.”

Domi also spoke with media Friday for the first time since the incident, where he took full responsibility for his actions.

“It’s a real tough situation, obviously, for everyone involved. I feel bad about it. It’s not the way I wanted to handle that,” Domi said. “By no means did I want to hurt him. I feel bad about it and I hope he’s OK.

“But you know what, I got to suffer the consequences of it. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is and I definitely respect the league’s decision.”

The Panthers next play Saturday night in Dallas against the Stars, but it’s unknown for now if Ekblad will be in the lineup.

The Canadiens and Panthers meet four times this season, with the first game coming Dec. 28 in Florida.

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