ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI – edmontonsun.com
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Connor McDavid can feel Max Domi’s pain.
He’s knows what it’s like to be an offensive star that a team is counting on to produce offence, but not being able to produce a thing because you broke your hand in a fight.
Domi is out indefinitely after requiring surgery to repair the damage after bouncing a punch off a helmet in the sixth fight of his NHL career, while McDavid fractured the fifth metacarpal (pinky side of the wrist) in a fight during his final year of Junior.
“That’s the risk you take when you drop the gloves,” said the Oilers captain, who missed six weeks with his injury and barely made it back in time for the World Junior Championship. “(Domi) is certainly a tough guy. He hasn’t backed down from anyone. I can definitely sympathize with him, but he’ll come back even stronger for sure.”
Nobody ever wants to see a player like McDavid drop the gloves, he is simply too valuable to risk losing to a freak injury, but he says none of the Erie Otters brass sat him down and said they never wanted to see him duke it out again.
“Nothing like that,” he said. “It’s an emotional game out there and stuff happens quick. Sometimes you’re not really thinking, you’re just reacting to something.”
Taylor Hall reacted to something in March of 2011 and the ensuing fight with Derek Dorsett ended his season after 65 games. It happens, that’s why coaches and managers always flinch when a star player decides to take matters into his own hands.
But while the injury is tough for the Coyotes to deal with right now, McDavid says playing with an edge is an element of Domi’s game and they probably won’t want to stifle.
“Doms is an especially emotional guy,” said McDavid. “He plays with his heart on his sleeve and that stuff happens. You definitely don’t want to take that away from a guy like Domi because that’s what makes his game so great.”