Captain eyes playoff return

RYAN PYETTE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

London captain Robbie Drummond thinks Kitchener defenceman Jakub Kindl should've been suspended for the head check that has kept him out of the lineup with a concussion for the last three weeks.

When London forward Josh Beaulieu was tossed from last Thursday's game after trying to goad Kindl into a fight, Drummond could be seen on TV near the Knights dressing room giving his teammate a slap on the back.

In Kitchener, Kindl had been given a five-minute major and game ejection for the Feb. 20 incident -- but the OHL decided not to issue supplementary discipline.

Beaulieu and teammate David Jarram have been suspended indefinitely for their actions in the March 8 rematch at the John Labatt Centre and are facing an abuse of officials complaint. Drummond hasn't practised since suffering the head injury.

"It was an elbow -- it's like taking a punch in the face, if not worse," Drummond said. "I've seen the play and thought a suspension was warranted. It wasn't just a head check or because my head just bouncing off the boards from what I was able to determine."

Kindl has denied he threw an elbow at Drummond. The Londoner had been enjoying a career year with 66 points in 56 games. He hopes he'll be cleared to participate in London's opening playoff game, which is expected to be next Friday at the JLC against Owen Sound, Guelph or Sarnia.

"Unbelievably frustrating -- it's the worst injury I've had in my career," Drummond said. "If I had a broken leg or a sprained ankle, you could at least feel it healing. But with this, the symptoms hit at any time without warning.

"We're trying to be extremely careful and not rush back because the last thing I want is to start playing again and then have to be out again for coming back too quick."

London head coach Dale Hunter doesn't expect Drummond or defenceman Kevin Montgomery, who has missed the past two games with a "lower body injury," to dress before the playoffs start.

"I haven't seen (Drummond) on the ice for practice and that's a good indication that he's just not ready yet -- he has to wait for his tests to come through," Hunter said. "Kevin is coming along with his injury. It can take different guys different amounts of time to heal."

London has recalled Corbin Crawford and Luke VanMoerkerke from the London Nationals, who were eliminated from the Western Ontario Hockey League playoffs. They have also brought in speedy Thunder Bay native Kale Kerbashian, a fourth-round Knights pick from the Fort Wiliam North Stars.


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