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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Canucks GM sounds off on Mason hit

By ESPN.com news services

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond will miss Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and could still be out to start next season with a fractured vertebra after being checked into the boards.

Mason Raymond
Mason Raymond, center, is helped from the ice by teammates in the opening moments of Game 6. The Canucks forward has a fractured vertebrae and won't play for up to four months.
Raymond sustained a "vertebrae compression fracture" early in Game 6 on Monday night and his back injury needs three to four months to heal, the team said Tuesday. He was hurt 20 seconds into the game when defenseman Johnny Boychuk hit him during the Boston Bruins' 5-2 win over Vancouver.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis, who hasn't talked with the NHL about the hit since Monday night, said Raymond is still hospitalized and was unable to make the trip back to Vancouver with the team Tuesday.

"All I can tell you is my observations of the hit," Gills told reporters at Rogers Arena. "I didn't see the puck around him. I thought the Boston player used a can opener and drove him into the boards with enough force to break his back. That's what I saw. I don't have much more to say about that other than that observation.

"I'm not in charge of supplementary discipline, so I'm not the right person to ask about that. I think when you see the severity of that injury, the way our doctors described it to me, very, very dangerous, and, you know, I'm always disappointed when you see any player get injured. But it wasn't a chipped vertebrae or cracked vertebrae. It's broken through the belly of his vertebrae, so it's a very serious injury. You never want to see any player on any team have an injury like that," he said.

NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy, who is in charge of NHL discipline for the Stanley Cup finals because Colin Campbell's son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins, told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside on Tuesday the NHL is content with the call on the ice during the play and there are no plans for any supplemental discipline.

"We do not feel this play requires discipline," Murphy wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "It was an awkward collision that caused Raymond's injury. Very unfortunate."