By KEVIN KELLY
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 23, 2001
TAMPA -- Wayne Primeau believes his first suspension as an NHL player is justified.
The Lightning center is suspended indefinitely pending a hearing because of the match penalty he received after an altercation Saturday with Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden.
Primeau was assessed 22 penalty minutes, including a match penalty for intent to injure, after he slashed Redden following a collision near the Lightning blue line during the third period of Tampa Bay's 3-0 loss.
The league is expected to suspend him up to three games.
"All I know is I didn't have the puck when he ran into me," Primeau said Monday. "I was blindsided. I don't mind getting hit. I've always taken hits. I just don't feel that was a clean hit."
In the collision, he sustained a low-grade concussion, which he said may have contributed to his reaction. He spent Saturday night at Civic Hospital in Ottawa. He flew to Tampa on Sunday and was examined by a neuro-psychologist Monday.
Sunday's game against Columbus will count toward whatever suspension the league assesses because Primeau was not on injured reserve.
"I just feel like if someone is going to take advantage of someone and get away with it, they're going to expect to get away with it all the time," Primeau said. "I just felt it was wrong, and that's why I reacted like that."