Victor Hedman holds no ill will toward Jamie Benn following crushing hit
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman has been out of action since having his head slammed into the boards on a hit from Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn on Oct. 15, but Hedman was able to return to a full practice Monday and said he has no problem with the crushing hit from Benn.
“I lost track of the puck, tried to get back in position and I had my eyes down on the ice and didn't see him coming,” Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times. “[Benn]'s not a dirty player, he's a hard working player, a physical player. I admire the way he plays. He finished the check and it was a bang-bang play.”
Hedman went through concussion protocol following the hit, and he has had two concussions since he entered the league in 2008. But Hedman told the Times he knows when he feels normal and said he believes he is fine.
The team's associate coach, Rick Bowness, said he could tell Hedman was okay Saturday simply by looking into Hedman's eyes.
“You look at those guys who are suffering from concussions, it's sometimes a little bit cloudy in there,” Bowness told the Times. “But Victor, his eyes were alive and bright and you figure he'd be back by Tuesday. Fortunately it wasn't that severe.”
Hedman missed the remainder of Thursday's game as well as Saturday's game against the Sabres due to the hit. He previously missed 13 games in 2011-12 with a concussion.
(h/t Tampa Bay Times)