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Photo Credit: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Mathieu Perreault Blasts NHL Department Of Player Safety

Late in the first period of Tuesday’s Winnipeg Jets contest against the Vancouver Canucks, Jets forward Mathieu Perreault was hit in the face by a deliberate Jake Virtanen elbow that went uncalled and left Perreault fuming as he made his way back to the bench.

While the elbow didn’t get a call from the referees at the time, many including Ray Ferarro who was working TSN’s Jets broadcast as color commentator admitted to being surprised that there was no call made and suspected that Virtanen might be getting a phone call from NHL Player Safety later. That was a sentiment shared by Jets head coach Paul Maurice after the game.

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Only, it didn’t get looked at. If the incident was reviewed then NHL Player Safety and the head of that group George Parros must feel like Virtanen directing his elbow upwards into the jaw of Perreault is perfectly fine. A decision that of course hasn’t sat well with Perreault who teed off on Parros and NHL Player Safety after Thursday morning’s Jets practice.

“I’m the smallest guy on the ice so I can’t really fight anybody. The only thing I can do to defend myself is use my stick, so the next guy that does that to me is gonna get my f—— stick. And I better not get suspended for it.”

The sad part is that while Virtanen doesn’t receive any punishment after elbowing a player with known concussion issues, many wouldn’t be surprised to see the NHL come down on Perreault for the use of profanity, promising to defend himself in an equally violent manner, or calling out it’s officials much like Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella did back at the end of December for which he was heavily fined.

Players taking matters into their own hands…

It’s worth noting that in the second period, Jets captain Blake Wheeler challenged Virtanen to send a message, but the latter backed down.

It will be a little while before these two clubs see each other again as they are set to play their third and final contest of the season on March 15 in Vancouver. Given how the Jets took Luke Kunin of the Minnesota Wild to task on the ice for his pre-season late hit on Bryan Little almost three months after it happened, one would have to think the Jets may yet request Virtanen to answer for his cheap elbow since NHL Player Safety isn’t going to do anything about it.

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