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McAmmond released from hospital

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The good news for Senators forward Dean McAmmond is nothing was broken in the bone-rattling hit he absorbed from Flyers prospect Steve Downie on Tuesday night.

But there was little other word on the condition of McAmmond, who has had head injuries before.

The Sens issed a short statement Wednesday saying there were no fractures and that he was to see the club's training staff for treatment. McAmmond was released from a local hospital after undergoing an examination following Tuesday's exhibition.

McAmmond suffered a concussion after a hit by Chris Pronger in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final last June.

The Sens forward had to be wheeled off on a stretcher in the second period Tuesday. Downie received a match penalty — which means an automatic and indefinite suspension pending a review.

In Edmonton, Oilers veteran Shawn Horcoff said hockey is a physical game but that there has to be limits.

"There isn't any room in the game for that," Horcoff said Wednesday. "He showed him no respect. It very well could have ended his career. Mac has some concussion problems as it is, and that one looked pretty severe."

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said the hit was a textbook case of what the league is trying to crack down on.

"It's hard to defend the player in that respect," said MacTavish. "Dean I know well, so maybe I'm a little more emotionally attached to what happened, but clearly to me this is something the league was very clear that they were going to try to eliminate.

"I guess the only argument you would have for Steve Downie is that he's trying to make a name for himself and get a (roster) spot, but that's not the way to do it."

The Flyers were leading 2-1 when, at the 2:39 mark of the second, Downie skated the length of the ice and took a run at McAmmond, who had just released the puck while circling behind the Flyers' net and was met by Downie coming around the other side. Downie also appeared to leave his feet as he flattened the veteran.

Downie gained a reputation at the junior level for some nasty play, but the Newmarket, Ont., native said Tuesday's hit wasn't pre-meditated, nor did he intend to go for McAmmond's head.

Oilers forward Andrew Cogliano said he's a good friend and former roommate of Downie.

"It's pretty unfortunate," he said. "It's a hit where he could have used his head a little bit better, but he's trying to find a job in the league and make his name, but I think a lot of guys would agree that was kind of a little bit of a cheap hit, and I think he kind of knows it was, too."

"I didn't mean to hurt him and I hope he's OK," Downie said after the game. "My game's to hit and to finish the check. I'm just trying to earn a spot on the roster. It's part of my game and I apologize for him getting hurt.

"I thought I got him clean. Once we hit the boards after, I asked if he was OK."

The hit had the Sens fuming after the game.

"It was a cheap shot. There's no part in the game for hits like that," said Senators right-winger Brian McGrattan, who was ejected after he sought justice on the offending Downie. "A guy can't defend himself and you take a 40-foot run and jump and hit him. Hopefully the league takes a look at it. Those are the hits we don't want in our game.

"You don't want to see stuff like that. We're not out there to kill each other."

McGrattan later went on to issue a warning.

"He'll get what's coming to him," said McGrattan. "He'll do it to the wrong guy and somebody will put him out of hockey. You do that at his level a couple of times, guys in junior won't do it, but guys at this level will.

"He'll get what's coming to him next time we play him, that's for sure."

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