September 29, 2020

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Perreault regrets outburst at NHL over dirty hits

Mathieu Perreault said he had spoken to representatives of the league on the matter but hadn't changed his mind on the ruling. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Free Press files)</p></p>

Mathieu Perreault said he had spoken to representatives of the league on the matter but hadn't changed his mind on the ruling. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Free Press files)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/1/2020 (256 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Mathieu Perreault's fury after being on the receiving end of an unpenalized elbow to the head from Vancouver's Jake Virtanen Tuesday night was more subdued Friday morning.

The veteran Winnipeg Jets forward said he regretted a Thursday outburst in which he said, in part: "Now I've got to take matters into my own hands. Next time this happens, I get to swing my stick across his forehead and I shouldn't get suspended."

Perreault was originally responding to a decision by the department of NHL player safety to allow Virtanen to go unpunished.

"First of all I'd like to say my emotion got a little high there," Perreault told reporters before Friday's matchup with the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning at Bell MTS Place. "I obviously wouldn't slash anybody in the face. That's not who I am, I've never done anything like that in my career.

"So yeah, that was probably too much for me to say. I've always played a hard game between the whistles, within the rules, and never done anything to anybody really. I wouldn't do anything like that -- I'd like to take that back for sure."

Perreault said he had spoken to representatives of the league on the matter but hadn't changed his mind on the ruling.

"I still don't agree with the decision," added Perreault. "I feel like any kind of hit to the head should be out of this game. It doesn't matter what kind of force goes into it or whatnot. I still don't agree with that and I obviously won't do anything stupid out there."

NOTEWORTHY: Jets head coach Paul Maurice said forward Gabriel Bourque will draw back into the lineup with Jansen Harkins coming out. Defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, out one game due to the flu, returns in place of an injured Carl Dahlstrom. The club also recalled blue-liner Cameron Schilling from the AHL's Manitoba Moose to bolster the club in preparation for a three-game road trip that begins Sunday in Chicago.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Sports Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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