MONTREAL (AP) — Canadiens enforcer George Parros sustained a concussion early in the third period of Montreal’s 4-3 home-opening loss to Toronto after slamming face first into the ice during a fight with Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr.
The hard-hitting Parros spent several minutes motionless on the ice, attended to by both teams’ medical staffs, before being removed on a stretcher. He was taken to a hospital where he was reportedly alert and conscious.
“Thanks for all the well wishes everyone,” Parros said from his verified Twitter account a few hours after the game.
Parros and Orr have a long history.
“You never want to see a guy get hurt like that,” Orr said. “It was a scary situation. I just hope he’s all right.
“It happened fast. I slipped and he came on top of me. The ice isn’t going to give.”
The two have fought each other several times, and Orr was injured in a similar fight with Parros two years ago in Toronto. Parros, then with the Anaheim Ducks, landed on Orr, who sustained a concussion and didn’t play for the rest of that season.
“Any time you see a guy go down — no matter what team he’s on — it’s pretty scary,” Canadiens captain Brian Gionta said. “Hopefully things are all right and he’ll bounce back quickly.
“It’s tough. You have a guy who’s coming into a new team and he wants to establish himself. He had a good game tonight, stepping up for his guys and protecting his guys. You never like to see him go down like that.”
Parros’ injury could restart the debate about whether fighting has a place in hockey. But Montreal’s Josh Gorges doesn’t think the discussion has merit.
“I see more players get hurt from hits, collisions, from pucks, than I do from fights,” he said.
“I don’t think saying because a player got hurt in a fight that now we have to talk about taking fighting away. I bet that if you ask George (Parros), he’ll be the first to agree with me on that one, too.”
Parros joined Montreal this summer after one season with the Florida Panthers. Tuesday’s game was his first with the Canadiens.