Wirtz Speaks out on Head Hits

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Byline: Mike Spellman mspellman@dailyherald.com

At a luncheon at the City Club of Chicago on Monday, Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz had some strong words for the big hits a pair of his defensemen have taken of late.

The first was the one from Washington's Alex Ovechkin that drove Brian Campbell into the boards and resulted in a two-game suspension for Ovechkin, and the latest being James Wisniewski's crushing blow to the head of defenseman Brent Seabrook in Anaheim last week.

Wirtz said if the punishment against Ovechkin had been harsher, the hit on Seabrook might not have happened.

"I am convinced if they had come down harder on Ovechkin, there's no way James Wisniewski would have gone from the blue line and hit Brent Seabrook," Wirtz said on video from NBC5. "This has to stop.

"We took a player who's out for the rest of the season (Campbell); I think that player (Ovechkin) should be out for the rest of the season, (too)."

Campbell spoke about the hit Tuesday on Comcast SportsNet.

"Disbelief, I was like what are you doing?" Campbell said. "You can do some serious damage to a person by pushing them into the boards from behind.

"He's a great player, but I've seen him do it to players in the past, and he continues to do it. …