Konopka speaks out about Wolski hit

Zenon Konopka isn’t pleased. The Senators tough guy shared his disappointment about the NHL’s decision to not discipline Wojtek Wolski of the New York Rangers for his borderline hit on Daniel Alfredsson last Sunday. Konopka wasn’t buying the explanation from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who said Wolski’s clean track record was a main reason why he wasn’t suspended.

Zenon Konopka isn’t pleased.

The Senators tough guy shared his disappointment about the NHL’s decision to not discipline Wojtek Wolski of the New York Rangers for his borderline hit on Daniel Alfredsson last Sunday. Konopka wasn’t buying the explanation from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who said Wolski’s clean track record was a main reason why he wasn’t suspended.

“Really? Reputation? There still has to be a stance made,” said Konopka, who likened the Wolski hit on Alfredsson to the David Steckel hit on Sidney Crosby last season, which triggered Crosby’s concussion problems.

“At the end of the day, the reality of the matter is, Daniel Alfredsson is not in the lineup. So talk about reputation, talk about whatever you want to talk about, we don’t have our captain in the lineup. That’s killing us. Obviously, there was no retribution, no even up call, whatever you want to call it. That’s a tough pill for us to swallow. We’re not happy in the dressing room. We’re not happy with the league and the Rangers or anyone else, or Wolski. That’s the reality of the matter. You can sugar coat it all you want and say the right things, but we’re not a happy bunch.”

In that same game, Konopka received a charging major and was suspended from the game for what he calls “a less vulgar hit” and he says Wolski has to feel punishment somehow.

“If I was on the ice, there would have been retribution. I know Wolski is a good guy, but at the end of the day, we still have to police ourselves a little bit,” he said. When asked about the fact the teams meet each other again next Wednesday in New York, Konopka said, “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Konopka suggested there may have been other factors leading up to the hit, as well.

“Let’s not forget that Wolski is not having the year he wants to be having and he has been in the doghouse in New York and Tortorella is an intense coach,” he said. “When you get out of your mold and you try to make something happen and you panic, there are lot of times, you see on the road, you see in business, when you panic, it’s not a good thing and bad things happen. I think that’s part of it. Nobody’s really talked about it, but he’s trying to find himself as a player. At point, he was close to a world-class player and he’s not where he wants to be and that’s part of the variable we have to put into the equation.”

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