CALGARY -- Scott Hartnell said he never thought twice about his hit on Magnus Paajarvi on Thursday night in Edmonton, the one that left Paajarvi limping off the ice with a right knee injury.
Hartnell earned a minor kneeing penalty on the play, with 1:36 remaining in the second period, as his knee connected with Paajarvi on the way down.
Some thought it might garner additional consideration for supplementary discipline - especially since Hartnell was largely retaliating for a hit earlier that shift by Oilers defenseman Corey Potter.
Hartnell got the wrong guy.
And Hartnell skated clean on Friday, as the NHL reviewed the hit, but chose not to suspend or fine him.
“I didn’t see a replay of it,” Hartnell said. “Hits like that happen. You get bumps and bruises and things like that, but I don’t think I went out of my way to hurt him and try to hurt him. I was just finishing my check.”
While the hit was unfortunate, as Peter Laviolette said no one ever wants to see a player get hurt, Laviolette himself reviewed the tape and found nothing wrong with the hit. Brendan Shanahan concurred.
Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger, filling in for the concussed Tom Renney, called for a 5-minute major.
“I believe that you’re allowed to hit somebody,” Laviolette said. “I didn’t see anything illegal. I didn’t see him stick the leg out. I hope the kid’s all right. It’s unfortunate. It was one of those knee-on-knee contacts, but usually when you try to get out of the way of something, the leg is the last thing left.”
Judge for yourself with the (poor quality) video below.
There has been no word out of Edmonton about Paajarvi’s status today.
Despite the unfortunate hit, Hartnell said he was glad to be back in Alberta. He used to visit twice a season with Nashville, but has only made the trek north twice with the Flyers in 4 seasons. He grew up in Lloydminster, Alberta, on the Saskatchewan border.
He said he had about 25 friends and family at the game in Edmonton and will have another 20 or so in Calgary on Saturday night.
“They all got their own tickets in advance, though,” Hartnell joked. “They all know better than that.”
As for his success off-the-ice, Hartnell reported that he is now 0-for-6 in Tim Horton’s “Roll up the Rim” contest, a Canadian staple where you bend back to rim of your coffee cup to participate in an “instant win” game.
“I drink it twice a day, every day,” Hartnell said. “I’m still a loser.”
DAY OFF: Surprisingly, after the Flyers’ listless loss on Thursday night, coach Peter Laviolette gave the team a day off from the rink. They had a team meeting at 11:15 am at their hotel and were expected to be doing team activities until 3 o’clock. The team is tentatively planning for an off-day on Sunday in San Jose, as well.
Pick up a copy of SportsWeek on Saturday, as Matt Carle, Claude Giroux, Peter Laviolette and Scott Hartnell all offer their take on the Flyers' slide.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers