Holmgren: Richards faces no suspension for hit on Booth Staff

10/25/2009 1:52:04 PM

According to Philadelphia Flyers' general manager Paul Holmgren, centre Mike Richards will not be suspended for his hit on David Booth of the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Booth was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the second period after Richards' shoulder made contact with his face, knocking him unconscious. He spent the night in a Philadelphia hospital undergoing tests and was released on Sunday.

Richards was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for intent to injure.

Booth was hit by Richards after he passed the puck in the Flyers' zone, a hit that left him face down and motionless on the ice for several minutes. He received medical attention from the training staffs of both teams before being carted off on a stretcher.

Richards expressed his concern for Booth but explained there was no maliciousness in the hit.

"I'm never out there to hurt anyone," Richards said after the game. "I have respect for the game and respect for the players. My concern is with him. Hopefully, he's fine and gets better. I just wanted to separate him from the puck. He dished it off and everything happened so quickly. I don't have a history of head shots and I don't even know if it was a head shot."

But Panthers' defenceman Keith Ballard felt Richards took advantage of Booth's position, something he has a history of doing.

"Richards knows (Booth) is in vulnerable position and goes after him," Ballard said. "He's done it before. That's the same stuff they've been trying to cut out. The thing with Mike Richards is he's a good, honest player. I love a lot about his game. He does a lot of things well, but then he does that stuff."