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Discipline hearing set for Letang aggressor

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Monday, Nov. 28, 2011

All may be forgiven between the players, but the NHL wants to hear from Montreal Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty for his hit to the head against Penguins defenseman Kris Letang on Saturday night.

Pacioretty will have a hearing by phone this morning with league discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.

Another dose of the regret that Pacioretty displayed Saturday night could serve him well with Shanahan, who in his first season handling supplemental discipline has gained respect among players for his perspective on topics such as illegal hits to the head.

Pacioretty caught Letang in the face with his upper left arm late in the third period at Bell Centre. No penalty was called. Letang's nose was broken and he required assistance to the training room, but he returned for overtime and scored to deliver the Penguins a 4-3 victory.

"I lost my breath and was just trying to figure out what happened," Letang said, adding that he passed a concussion test administered by an undisclosed physician. "It's the protocol. You go back in, get the test done. Obviously, I had my nose broken and the doc put it in place, so I was ready to go."

Letang said he did not see the Pacioretty hit because "(my) head was down" while attempting a shot in the offensive zone against Canadiens goalie Carey Price.

Letang said Pacioretty apologized in person after the game, calling it "a nice gesture."

Pacioretty, who famously was carried from the ice on a stretcher in March after a blindside hit from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, said he "(felt) terrible about what happened."

"I know that feeling," Pacioretty said. "I know (the NHL) is probably going to want something to be done."

In question is whether Pacioretty violated Rule 48 for illegal checks to the head. According to league rules, a player can be suspended or fined for being in violation of Rule 48 even if no penalty was assessed during the game.

Additional Information:

The hit in question

The Canadiens' Max Pacioretty knocks the Pens' Kris Letang to ice

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