Erie Otters rookie winger Hayden Hodgson figured he would be suspended for his hit that injured Kingston rookie forward Henri Ikonen last Sunday.
Four games, maybe five – but not 10. “I wasn’t really expecting such a harsh punishment,” he said Thursday after spending extra time on the Erie Insurance Arena ice working with coach Kris Knoblauch. “I’m really kind of ticked about how I’ll miss games next year.”
Hodgson, who will miss the final seven games of this season and the first three of the 2013-14 OHL season, said he was finishing a check as Ikonen cycled the puck near the boards. “I got him in the chest,” he said. “I think it was just a little bit late.” Ikonen’s injury, which has been reported as a concussion, led league officials to suspend Hodgson for 10 games. “I just think it could have been a better outcome,” he said.
Otters captain Connor Brown, who is out with a concussion, watched replays of the hit while doing video work during the loss to Kingston. “It looked a tad late,” Brown said. “But if (Ikonen) wasn’t injured, I don’t think it would have been a penalty. I thought it was an OK hit.”
Otters coach Kris Knoblauch said, “From our side, we think it’s too much. Kingston, they lose their player. They think it’s not enough.”
Either way, Hodgson has to accept not playing for the rest of this season.
“When I found out, I was kind of shocked,” he said. “I’m not going to play until next year, which is kind of depressing. I’ve just got to handle it. (I have to) work hard in practice and in the gym and just make the best of it.”
- Victor Fernandes