Nick Kypreos is fired up.
After Panthers’ blueliner Mike Matheson injured young Vancouver phenom Elias Pettersson by throwing him to the ice Saturday evening in Florida, many people had an opinion on the play.
Matheson was ultimately handed a two-game suspension and Pettersson will miss at least 7-10 days with a suspected concussion.
The much smaller Pettersson was simply no match for the 6’2″, 193 lbs Matheson.
Pettersson’s weight on NHL.com is officially listed at 176 lbs, but that could be a tad on the high side.
A fired up Kypreos joined the Tim and Sid show to note that smaller and skilled players are becoming more common in today’s NHL. He feels the league needs to decide if they’re still trying to sell that hockey is a tough sport or if are there too many smaller players now in the NHL and that needs to be recognized.
“We need to decide if we’re leaning towards protecting these guys… or at some point we say, if you wanna play with the big boys, sometimes you’re gonna get hurt. I don’t know which one it is.”
"We need to decide if we're leaning towards protecting these guys… or at some point we say, if you wanna play with the big boys, sometimes you're gonna get hurt. I don't know which one it is."
— Tim and Sid (@timandsid) October 15, 2018
It’s an interesting question raised by Kypreos, who also noted in the segment that top prospect Jack Hughes may not play in the NHL next season due to his size and this ongoing issue. He states there’s an internal debate going on right now and Hughes’ parents shouldn’t want their kid coming in at a low weight and getting thrown around.
Kypreos ultimately believes that the NHL can have both the physicality and the skill, but the league will need to continue making those tough decisions to keep things regulated — such as the one to suspend Matheson for two games.
With the direction the NHL is heading in, we likely haven’t heard the end of this debate.