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Perry: Elbow to Ellis' head was 'very unintentional'

John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

Dallas Stars forward Corey Perry is pleading his case after being ejected from the Winter Classic on Wednesday.

After throwing an elbow to the head of Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the opening minutes of the contest, Perry was handed a five-minute major and game misconduct.

"I've played with Ryan before. I know him personally. It's very unintentional," Perry said postgame, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "I didn't mean to hurt him. I hope he's OK."

The 34-year-old will have a hearing on Friday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Wednesday.

"It was an awkward play. I reached up to try and deflect the puck," Perry added. "It's unfortunate."

Perry is a repeat offender as he's been suspended twice before; his last incident came in 2013 when he was handed a four-game ban for an illegal hit on Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker.

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