Just got off the phone with Lightning PR director Jay Preble who said Jamie Heward has been released from Sibley Memorial Hospital with a concussion and is on his way back to Tampa Bay. He is expected to land in Florida this afternoon.
By Damian Cristodero, TampaBay.com, Jan. 2, 2008:
Lightning defenseman Jamie Heward was released from a Washington hospital this morning and is on a flight home to Tampa, the team said. Heward sustained a concussion in Thursday night's game against the Capitals when he was hit from behind and went head first into the glass by superstar Alex Ovechkin, whose elbow also pushed Heward's head forward.
He was kept at Sibley Memorial Hospital for observation, and tests revealed no damage to the cervical spine, the team said, adding "the prognosis is good," though it gave no timetable for a return to action.
Heward was unconscious for 90 seconds on the ice after the hit, which occurred 6:15 into the third period as Heward chased after a puck in a corner of the defensive zone. Lightning GM Brian Lawton said Ovechkin will draw no discipline from the league. Lawton said he spoke to NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell Friday morning, who told him the play had been reviewed and Ovechkin will not face league discipline. No penalty was called on the play.
"I was told by the league it was not a targeted hit to the head," Lawton said. "In their assessment, Ovechkin never left his feet."
Lawton said the league decided Heward's crouching on the play also contributed somewhat to the hit to the head.
"I didn't see it that way," Lawton said, though he added, "under the explanation I was given, that was acceptable."
He also said he will not pursue the matter further and he was satisfied with Campbell's assertion that had Heward hit Ovechkin the same way, there also would not have been discipline.
"All you want to do is ensure the standard," Lawton said, who added, "The law of averages says we're going to be on the other side of that someday. It would be nice to have a really clearly defined standard."
Ovechkin's video interview after the game
Ovie: "I didn't want to hit him hard... he was turned. It was accident, and I really sorry. I never hurt somebody and especially my old teammate. It is hard. ... He turns, and I have speed... I don't know. He just turned at the last second."
By Corey Masisak, TWT:
It should have been a time to celebrate for Alex Ovechkin - another victory, another three-point night to push him past Sidney Crosby for second place in the NHL scoring race.
Instead, Ovechkin was subdued after a 7-4 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, shaken after one of his hits injured a friend and former teammate.
Ovechkin did score the team's seventh goal late in the third period, but he was far from his normal gregarious self after the game.
"I would have been shaken up, too," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think it is going to upset him, but once he finds out that Jamie is OK, he's going to be fine. I don't think it will change the way he plays."