Michalek 'didn't want to hurt' Canuck blueliner

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:33 PM ET

CALGARY — Milan Michalek is being accused of dirty play by the Vancouver Canucks.

Not only does the Senators winger say he didn’t mean to injure Keith Ballard Monday, he says he was tossing and turning and couldn’t sleep because he was so worried about the defenceman’s knee.

Ballard went down in obvious pain during a battle along the boards with Michalek in the first period of Vancouver’s 4-2 win over the Senators. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Tuesday.

“He went to hit me and we kind of collided together,” said Michalek. “I was falling down and I grabbed him, kind of, and I think his leg got stuck in the ice. I think he fell on his leg, sat on it, so it was bad.

“I felt so bad I had trouble sleeping (Monday) night. Hopefully, it will be nothing bad.”

Canucks GM Mike Gillis had a problem with Michalek’s role in the incident, saying he didn’t think it was an accident.

“I saw it as a play that in my opinion was a violation of the rules, one that is not a highly respected play at this level,” Gillis told Vancouver radio station TEAM 1040.

“The puck wasn’t near Keith when it happened, and I certainly disagree with that style of play.”

Michalek knows all too well what it’s like to have a knee injury. He’s had two serious ones himself.

“I didn’t want to hurt him, I didn’t want to do anything,” said Michalek. “It’s always bad when somebody gets injured. Hopefully, he’s going to be good.”


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