Reddox sits after high hit

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

ST. PAUL -- Liam Reddox won't be suiting up today when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Minnesota Wild.

The Oilers winger had to leave Friday's contest against the Chicago Blackhawks when he was hit along the boards by Ben Eager.

Reddox appeared to be knocked unconscious on the play and had to be helped off the ice.

Eager was handed a three-game suspension by the NHL yesterday.

"That was a pretty scary incident in talking to (trainer) Kenny (Lowe)," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"Liam was not in good shape when he went out there, so we have be really careful with what we do with him.

"From there it's just protocol, just get him back, see how he's feeling and deal with the symptoms. But it was a pretty bad incident."

Eager appeared to catch Reddox on the chin with his shoulder just as the Oilers player made a pass. The Blackhawks winger seemed to come up on Reddox and was not penalized on the play.

"I thought it was a shoulder to the head that was late and predatory," MacTavish said.

"In a lot of ways it was pretty reminiscent of the hit by Raffi (Torres) on (Milan) Michalek back in the playoffs that year. It's not a black and white issue where it's absolutely unacceptable, although I think it might be now in today's game.

"Now we've been on both sides of it. At the time of the Torres hit, there was quite a bit of dialogue with the league and a lot of debate. I think when you factor in the circumstances, you can't have those kinds of hits."

Reddox, 23, had been playing well to that point in the game, setting up Andrew Cogliano for a breakaway goal in the first period.

The native of Whitby, Ont., also set up Fernando Pisani for a goal in Thursday's 8-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

"Coaches always like guys like Liam, and Fernando is in that same vein," MacTavish said.

"They just execute. They get the puck in pretty critical spots at pretty critical times and they just execute. There is a comfort level there because they execute at those levels."

In 44 games this season, Reddox has five goals and seven assists. He started the season in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons, but since getting called up has never seemed to be in jeopardy of getting sent back down.

"If you watch him in practice, he's a skilled guy," MacTavish said.

"He skates, he moves the puck, he's fearless. He's got a lot of upside in his game. He's going to be a real solid checker, a third-line checker that can get 15 goals in a season, which is a pretty valuable player in today's game."


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