(Update 4 p.m.) - The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has announced Florida Panthers defenceman Mike Matheson will be suspended for two games.
The suspension is a result of an interference and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Elias Pettersson during Saturday night’s game.
(Original Story) - Vancouver Canucks fans has been awfully angry since Mike Matheson injured star rookie Elias Pettersson and Eric Francis found a way to make them even angrier.
Two day after Pettersson was chokeslammed to the ice in a move that looked for suitable for the UFC or WWE than hockey, Francis decided to make light of the 19-year-old’s injury on his radio show.
Pettersson broke Matheson's ankle with a deke and so like all good hockey men, Mathesson got embarrassed and took it out on Dekey Pete with a rough hit pic.twitter.com/M6jUBXnM3r— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) October 14, 2018
“Name the finishing move Matheson used on Patterson (we’ll assume he means Pettersson) and best ones get (tickets),” he tweeted. “Send me the answer on Twitter. Creativity counts.”
While Francis thought the he had created a fun little game to give away tickets, it wasn’t wrestling move names that flooded his mentions after he sent out the tweet.
Leafs-free radio continues on the EFShow on @Sportsnet960 with a chance to win two tix to Thursday’s Pizza Pigout. Name the finishing move Matheson used on Patterson and best ones get tix. Send me the answer on Twitter. Creativity counts— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) October 15, 2018
Instead, he was met with hundreds of critical responses from fans, other broadcasters and even one former NHL players, who is now an advocate for mental health and concussions.
“Glorifying a brain injury,” Daniel Carcillo tweeted back at Francis. “Keeping things classy Eric Francis and Sportsnet 960.”
Glorifying a brain injury.....Keeping things classy @EricFrancis & @Sportsnet960 Furthering the league of denials @NHL archaic rhetoric on head hits in the game of hockey will only continue to put kids & youth at risk. #MentalHealth #TBI #concussion https://t.co/5siqAFAJRm— Daniel Carcillo (@CarBombBoom13) October 15, 2018
Other responses included a simple, “that’s dark,” from TSN’s Jason Botchford and plenty of outcry from not just Canucks fans, but hockey fans in general.
“Concussions aren’t a laughing matter,” tweeted one fan. “Pretty tonedeaf.”
“Imagine having such a low IQ that you think a teenager getting a concussion is something that you should laugh about on your radio show,” tweeted another. “You’re a piece of garbage Eric Francis.”
Today, the Canucks confirmed that Pettersson does have a concussion and will miss the team’s next two games at least.