DALLAS — He’s got a record now, and that’s what most bothers Jannik Hansen.
Through 129 AHL and 286 NHL games, the Vancouver Canucks winger liked to think he had earned a reputation as a hard-working, honest player who played the game the right way.
So Hansen was more than a little disappointed about the one-game suspension he served Thursday night for his hit two nights earlier on Chicago forward Marian Hossa.
Sure, the $7,297.30 Hansen forfeited for sitting out Thursday night’s game hit him right in the wallet, but Hansen said he’s more concerned about having that mark on his record.
“Of course, you know that you are a repeat offender now if something happens again,” he said after participating in Thursday’s optional game-day skate at American Airlines Center. “You are trying to play an honest game and play the right way and not step too far over the line and it’s unfortunate. But that’s the way it is right now.”
Other than the video that the NHL posted on its website, Hansen said he received no further explanation for the suspension.
“I got no explanation other than the stuff you guys have seen from the video,” he said. “I got an email saying one-game suspension and then I could see the video a little later.”
Hansen and Canucks coach Alain Vigneault clearly disagree with the decision, but both chose their words carefully on Thursday.
“I think I pretty much said what I had to say about it yesterday,” Vigneault said. “But that being said, I did look this morning at the explanation on the NHL site and got a little chuckle out of the explanation. So I think we’ll just leave it at that for now.”
After Tuesday’s game, Vigneault had said there was “no chance” that Hansen would receive supplemental discipline and suggested the hit did not even deserve a penalty. Hansen was assessed a two-minute roughing penalty after the hit.
Hansen also didn’t want to comment directly on the decision or the reasons given for it.
“Again, the safety department made their decision and it’s not up to me how they are doing their job,” he said. “They saw it the way they see it and they are going to rule it that way.”
Hansen was adamant that he won’t let the suspension affect the way he plays.
“It bothers me that you have that on your record now,” he said. “Not that it makes any difference, I am not going to change my game in any way. I am still going to play the same way that I have always, but you have that on you now and if something happens in the future you are repeat offender.”
Hossa, meanwhile, practised with the Hawks on Thursday and could play Friday night against San Jose.
“Doesn’t surprise me,” Hansen said of Hossa’s quick return.
When asked to expand upon that remark, Hansen said: “I should probably stay out of that one.”
Hossa told reporters in Chicago that he did not suffer a concussion after the hit early in the third period on Tuesday night and felt better after a day off on Wednesday.
“Right after, I was shaky,” Hossa said. “That’s why I didn’t return. I had the day off, so it’s settled down and this morning I felt much better. He hit me pretty hard in the back of the head. More than anything, he just surprised me with the punch from behind. I didn’t feel like myself for the first half hour after the hit.”
As for Hansen’s one-game suspension, Hossa said: “That’s up to the league. They make decisions. I’m glad it’s at least one game. Hopefully guys learn from it. He said he was reaching for the puck. I didn’t buy it. When you reach for the puck you don’t hit someone that hard in the head.”