Sharks' Hertl probable for showdown

Published: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C

SAN JOSE – Rookie forward Tomas Hertl should be ready to play Tuesday when the Sharks visit St. Louis in a game between unbeaten teams.

Starting with that game, the Sharks would like to see Hertl do a better job of protecting himself so he won't be as vulnerable to unnecessary hits and injuries.

Hertl, 19, was shaken up in the second period of Saturday's 3-2 win by the Sharks over Ottawa. He skated through two defenders and was cutting into the slot in front of the Senators' net when he stumbled and fell awkwardly into forward Clarke MacArthur. Hertl missed the rest of the game and did not skate Sunday as replays showed there was contact with Hertl's head and shoulder.

It was the second time in as many games Hertl suffered a blow to the upper body or head. At Vancouver on Thursday with the puck in the neutral zone, Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler caught Hertl in the head near the boards with his right side. Edler received a three-game suspension for the hit.

Fighting rules too lenient? – The commissioner of a junior hockey league said he would review its rules governing fights after a player had a seizure and was hospitalized following a fight Saturday.

"I'm convening a special meeting of our competition committee to see whether we're being too tolerant of fighting," said Skip Prince, the commissioner of the U.S. Hockey League.

Last week, concussion researchers at the Mayo Clinic called for a ban on fighting in junior and professional hockey, partly because players can suffer severe injuries in hockey fights.

Dylan Chanter, an 18-year-old defenseman with the Dubuque (Iowa) Fighting Saints, fell backward and hit his bare head on the ice while fighting with Corey Petrash of the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) RoughRiders.

Chanter was later airlifted to an Iowa City, Iowa, hospital, where a neurologist examined and released him Saturday night.

The New York Times contributed to this report.

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