The NHL is almost fully vaccinated for COVID, but is it fully vaccinated against tetanus? One Ottawa reporter needed to find out.
On Saturday, Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk and Los Angeles Kings pest Brendan Lemieux got in a little tussle on the ice, and it ended once Lemieux got a hold of Tkachuk’s hand in his mouth.
Lemieux will be getting a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to determine a potential suspension for the bite, but that is not the end of this saga. Ottawa coach D.J. Smith dove into the topic in Tuesday's meeting with reporters.
"I do not believe he (needed a tetanus shot) and if he did, (the team doctors) would have been on it already." @Senators D.J. Smith talks about how the NHL has made the game safer and doesn't believe Brady Tkachuk needed a tetanus shot. pic.twitter.com/dqe2L5rVnu
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 30, 2021
“I’ve never been bit, I have never bit anyone,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, I think the game today is so much safer, I think the league has done a really good job on the hitting from behind, with the refs getting in there earlier with fighting; a lot of the things that went on back in the day, that was just part of the game, and every year the game continues to be safer for the players.
"And I think that they really respect each other for the most part, so you don’t see things like this very often—it’s unfortunate, but the league will deal with it.”
We're not completely sure how taking a bite out of another player’s hand compares to a consensual fight that referees can get involved with, or how it shows respect for the other player, but we’re not professional hockey players.
Smith was then asked by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch whether or not Tkachuk received a tetanus shot after his hand was chomped on.
“I don’t know that, I don’t believe he did," Smith responded. "But that’s a good question, Bruce, I’m going to have to talk to the doctors and trainers, but I do not believe he did.”
Thank you for clearing up that odd inquiry, D.J.
Maybe the belief is that any hockey player’s mouth could be dirty and disgusting by nature, let alone the one belonging to the 25-year-old son of the infamous Claude Lemieux.
Hopefully Tkachuk was able to at least get a couple pumps of hand sanitizer in the locker room.
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