Winger Wayne Simmonds – then of the Philadelphia Flyers, now of Nashville – expressed little interest in whether the Pittsburgh Penguins might hold him accountable Thursday night for a hit Feb. 23 that left Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin with a concussion.
Simmonds’ hit came in the outdoor Stadium Series game in Philadelphia.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Simmonds told reporters after the Predators’ morning skate as far as any retaliation. “If it happens, it happens. I can’t control anything.”
Simmonds was traded to Nashville two days after the outdoor game. Not only was Dumoulin hurt – he missed three games – but in the immediate aftermath with the Penguins taking exception to the hit, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang got hurt and missed 12 games. The game against the Predators will be Letang’s second game back.
Simmonds defended the hit, in which Dumoulin went into the glass.
“It’s a clean hit,” Simmonds said. “I just hit him. He went into the boards. I put my shoulder into his chest. I think he hunched over a little. It’s a good hockey play as far as I can tell.”
Simmonds ended up with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but he did not have a hearing or receive supplemental discipline from the NHL.