- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (AP) - Canucks president Mike Gillis said Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk “used a can opener” in delivering a brutal hit on Mason Raymond that left the Vancouver forward in a Boston hospital with a back injury.

Raymond will miss Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, and likely the start of next season, after sustaining a vertebrae compression fracture from being checked into the boards 20 seconds into Game 6 on Monday night. The NHL has not disciplined Boychuk.

“All I can tell you is my observations of the hit,” Gillis said. “I didn’t see the puck around him. I thought the Boston player used a can opener and drove him with enough force into the board to break his back.”

Raymond was on the first shift of Boston’s 5-2 victory, which forced a decisive Game 7 Wednesday night in Vancouver. He lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped off and taken to the hospital on a stretcher.

Gillis wasn’t sure why Raymond wasn’t taken off the ice on a stretcher, but pointed out that he moved his feet while still on the ice. And the Canucks’ general manager refused to comment on the fact no penalty was called, and no supplementary discipline is coming from the NHL.

“I’m not the right person to ask about that,” Gillis said.

Raymond got spun around with Boychuk’s stick between his legs as they went into the corner after the puck went by them. Raymond ended up with his head down between Boychuk’s legs as he delivered Raymond backward into the boards, leaving him face down on the ice as play went on.

Mike Murphy, who is in charge of NHL discipline for the Stanley Cup finals because Colin Campbell’s son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that there would be no suspension.

“We do not feel this play requires discipline,” Murphy wrote. “It was an awkward collision that caused Raymond’s injury. Very unfortunate.”

Boston coach Claude Julien said it hadn’t looked closely at Boychuk’s hit.

“I don’t really have time to really bother with that when you’ve got Game 7 coming up,” he said after a short practice. “We’ve talked more about what we need to do here, not analyzing the injured player of the other team.”

Gillis said Vancouver might not get Raymond back until November, adding there was originally some fear the speedy winger might not be able to walk again.

“There was some very serious concern about that,” he said. “When you see the severity of that injury, the way our doctors described it to me, very, very dangerous. … It wasn’t a chipped vertebrae or cracked vertebrae. It’s broken through the belly of his vertebrae, so it’s a very serious injury. You never want to see any player on any team have an injury like that.”

Gillis said the team delayed its charter flight to Vancouver in the hopes Raymond might be able to join them, but he wasn’t stable enough and the team couldn’t wait long any longer.

“They had designed a corset for him to be able to wear to be able to get out of the hospital and travel safely,” Gillis said. “That hadn’t happened and we had to leave.”

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