Concussions effectively ended Willie Mitchell’s 14-year NHL career. It makes sense then, that he would be sensitive towards unsolicited punches to the head. And it probably goes double when players he served as captain for are on the receiving end of said shots.
So it was that the Port McNeill, B.C., native got embroiled in the controversy surrounding Max Domi and Aaron Ekblad.
Newly acquired Montreal Canadiens forward Domi was recently suspended for the remainder of the preseason (not so much a slap on the wrist as a caress of the cheek) for punching Florida Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad in the face.
It may have made his dad, former Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ty Domi proud, but the move was roundly criticized around the league.
One influential voice that defended Domi? Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos.
A former NHL enforcer himself, Kypreos thought Ekblad should have defended himself from Domi’s fists.
That’s when Mitchell, who served as Ekblad’s captain on the Panthers for two years, jumped in.
Mitchell is right to call out Kypreos for an outdated take. The NHL has taken recent steps to protect its players, and actions like Domi’s no longer have a place in the game.
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