Getzlaf seeing stars

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

Ryan Getzlaf doesn't remember the hit.

And the Calgary Hitmen captain isn't too sure when he'll return to the lineup after getting hit from behind by Red Deer's Dion Phaneuf Tuesday night, a hit that gave the 19-year-old a concussion.

"It's kind of up in the air right now as to when I'll return," said Getzlaf, who leads the Hitmen with 40 points this season in 39 games.

"We're going day by day now but I think it's at least five days before I can get back into a game situation."

Yesterday Getzlaf, who has never had a concussion before, said he still felt bad and suffered from a headache.

Phaneuf, who won a gold medal with Getzlaf and team Canada at the world junior championship, was assessed a boarding penalty for the hit and Hitmen officials likely won't send a tape in for review by the WHL.

"It just caught him in a very vulnerable position and that's the position where you get the most injuries," said Hitmen co-coach Dean Evason.

"It wasn't flagrant enough -- obviously it was a foul because he got a penalty for it -- but to take it to the next level, we've got 48 hours to do that, but probably no."

GOOD ON THE DRAW: Right now, the Calgary Hitmen rule the roost.

And the NHL lockout is a factor in why the Hitmen are currently drawing more fans, on average, than any other hockey club on the continent, according to team officials.

So far, the WHL club averages 9,080 fans per game with 12 home games left on the schedule, while the London Knights of the OHL are second, drawing 9,025 patrons through the turnstiles.

They're even outdrawing the American Hockey League's most attended club, the Manchester Monarchs (8,876).

Calgary Hitmen president Ken King is beaming like a proud papa.

"We're very proud of our team. I think the Hitmen began the year with a pretty good reputation, ranked third in the country and first in the WHL in terms of their on-ice capability, and it would be impossible to ignore the notion that they're alone in the building," said King, who is also the Calgary Flames president.

"(The lockout) is a significant factor. Some people have determined that the Hitmen are an alternative for them and they've had a pretty good, winning record."

It also helps to have star power like Anaheim Mighty Ducks prospect Ryan Getzlaf and Andrew Ladd, Carolina's fourth overall pick in last year's NHL Entry Draft.


Videos

Photos