Wilson disappointed with Kings' non-reaction to Hertl hit

Hertl collides with Brown, leaves early with right leg injury

Wilson disappointed with Kings' non-reaction to Hertl hit
December 23, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Darryl Sutter and the Kings (54 points) currently lead the Sharks by two points in the Pacific Division. (AP)

Programming note: Coverage of Sharks-Coyotes begins this Friday at 5:30 on CSN California with Sharks Pregame Live.

SAN JOSE – Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Monday voiced his displeasure that no one from the Los Angeles Kings has expressed any type of concern for injured forward Tomas Hertl, after the Sharks rookie suffered a serious knee injury on a hit from Dustin Brown last Thursday.

“Having played in this league a long time…when I was a rookie, I was tripped into a net in Hartford by the great Gordie Howe, and injured and carried off the ice,” Wilson said. “He came in between periods all the way around the rink to make sure I was OK. So, my response to the lack of, maybe, concern towards our player, is disappointing.”

“It’s the game of hockey. You play a playoff series, you play hard, guys battle, they fight, people get dinged up. At the end of the series, what do people do? They shake hands. As I said, all I know is Gordie Howe, one of the toughest, most physical guys that ever played, found time to come in and check on me. It’s a part of the game that I think makes our game the game that it is.”

Brown, who avoided further discipline from the league on the hit that drew a five-minute major and game misconduct, gave a lengthy interview to LAKingsinsider.com in which Hertl’s name nor his condition was referred to even once by the Los Angeles captain the day after the incident.

Although there’s a significant language barrier between Hertl and the general manager, Wilson spoke on Hertl’s reaction to the 20-year-old’s season potentially being over. Hertl will have surgery at some point over the next four or five days, according to Wilson, and will be out for an extended period of time. Wilson essentially ruled out any Olympic participation, and declined to give a best-case scenario for Hertl’s return in another signal that the injury is significant.

“The smile that just resonates on his face is not there, for obvious reasons,” Wilson said. “This is a player I think that’s been a great story. His love of the game, how he’s played; he just loves being at the rink. It’s certainly the first major injury he’s had to deal with, and to have it happen at this time and the way he was playing, I’d say is tremendously disappointing for him. We’ll get him through it, it’s just tough.”