Monday morning, former Capital Marcus Johansson returned to Devils practice for the first time since January 23 – a span of two months and three days.
Johansson has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome since a blatant and dirty elbow from Brad Marchand. The Bruins all-star forward was suspended five games by the NHL, but Johansson has missed the last 28 contests due to injury.
The Devils forward spoke about the devastating hit for the very first time after practice and didn’t mince his words. Johansson called the hit “stupid” and thought Marchand’s punishment was not nearly severe enough, citing the Bruins forward’s long history with the Department of Player Safety. Johansson’s main hope was that the league curbed Marchand’s behavior before the Bruin ends a player’s career.
Here’s what Johansson had to say via The Athletic’s Corey Masisak:
What did you think of the hit?
Marcus Johansson: “It was stupid. There’s nothing else to say about it. There was no point in doing that. There was no hockey play whatsoever. It’s sad to see there are still guys out there trying to hurt other guys. It’s sad. It’s stupid. I hoping it doesn’t come to him ending someone else’s career before it’s enough. It’s not why we play the game. There are obviously situations where to try to hit someone to make the hockey play and it goes wrong. Then there are plays like this that has nothing to do with hockey. It’s sad to see. I guess I’m unfortunate to be on the receiving end of that.”
He was suspended for five games – do you think that was enough?
Marcus Johansson: “Ah, not really, considering this was the ninth time he’s been suspended or fined. Like I said, you hope that it doesn’t come to him ending someone’s career before it’s enough. That’s all I can say. I’m trying to put that behind me and get back to feeling like normal again. That’s all I can do.”
Johansson added that he’s “getting there” in terms of his recovery, but “not 100 percent yet.” He also added that “every concussion is different” and “it’s been rough and a tough time” personally.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 26, 2018
Julie Cannon also contributed to this article.
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