Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will have a phone hearing with the NHL on Sunday after his hit on St. Louis Blues forward David Backes in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series.
Seabrook received a 5-minute penalty for the hit on Saturday and ejected at 15:09 of the third period with Chicago leading 3-2. The Blues tied the game with 6.4 seconds left on Vladimir Tarashenko’s goal on a 6-on-4 power play, then won it in overtime courtesy of Barret Jackman’s tally.
After the hit, Backes was momentarily motionless on the ice, then quickly rose to his feet, albeit in a very wobbly state. He was unable to return to the game.
Seabrook’s hearing comes via a phone call, which usually means up to a five-game suspension.
"I’m not trying to target his head, I’m not trying to do anything like that," Seabrook said, according to a report by CSNChicago.com. "It doesn’t feel good to see a player like that lying there like that and whatnot, and knowing that I hit him. It wasn’t my intent. I thought it was a hit; it’s a physical series. Hits have been laid like that from both sides the whole series. We’ll see what happens."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock would not talk much about the hit.
"I have no thoughts on the hit, that’s up the league," Hitchcock told reporters, according to The Associated Press. "How do you think he is? Not great. Let the league deal with it."