CALGARY – Quinton Howden is being treated for concussion-like symptoms, TSN's Farhan Lalji has confirmed.
The Team Canada forward was hit hard into the boards by Brett Connolly during Monday night's intra-squad game at the national junior team selection camp.
Head coach Don Hay refused to go into detail regarding Howden's injury Tuesday morning, only saying it was an upper-body problem and that the Florida Panthers prospect was feeling "a lot better."
Howden, listed as day-to-day, will not play Tuesday night when the junior team hopefuls face a group of Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-stars.
'SHANAHAN'S NOT HERE'
Connolly, on loan to the national team from the Tampa Bay Lightning, will not face supplemental discipline from Hockey Canada. He was assessed a two-minute boarding penalty during the game.
"[Brendan] Shanahan's not here," Hay quipped, referencing the NHL's senior vice-president of player safety. "He doesn't rule on what we do here. It was a hockey-type incident. It was a hit. It wasn't an overly dirty hit. It was probably a little bit late and I'm sure both parties regret it."
One of the reasons Connolly may have hit Howden, his friend, so hard was because the coaching staff had pressed him to play with an edge during the scrimmage. Hay and his staff did not like the way Connolly played during Sunday's first scrimmage.
"I want him to be a real complete player," said Hay. "I want him to compete hard and that's what I want to see from him in the games and as we move ahead."
BETTER BODY LANGUAGE
Connolly, for his part, admits he needs to work on his body language, which at times has portrayed a man not entirely thrilled to be away from his NHL team and back at the junior level.
"The message was loud and clear that the compete level needs to be there every single shift," said Connolly. "I need to earn it so I just needed to go out there and really play the way I know I can play and play hard and show everybody and the staff that I do care and I compete and I have character and I felt like I did that last night."
NO CHEMISTRY ISSUES
A couple players took issue with Connolly's hit on Howden, but everyone was singing from the same songbook on Tuesday when asked whether the play may cause trouble in the locker room.
"The team starts forming tomorrow," said Hay, who will announce his 22-man roster on Wednesday morning. "That's the biggest thing. Everybody's going to have their own opinions and I don't control their opinions so as we move ahead and we start our team building we'll get closer to becoming a team."
Tanner Pearson, Howden's roommate, backed away from his statements Monday night when he questioned what Connolly was thinking when he lowered the boom. After watching replays Pearson, a forward on the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League, believes the hit was not late after all.
Connolly, meanwhile, does not hold any hard feelings against some of the players who spoke out about the hit.
"They're on Quinton's team that night and they're going to protect their teammates and for me I'd do the same thing if I was on the other team," he said.
And it is clear Connolly is well liked by many of his teammates. Earlier in the week Howden praised Connolly for his sense of humour and for helping keep the team relaxed.
Forward Jonathan Huberdeau (foot) was not on the ice Tuesday as originally planned. Instead he was swimming off-site as he continues to rehab. "He's progressing really well," Hay said.