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Perreault irate Virtanen's elbow went undisciplined: 'Player safety, my ass'

Darcy Finley / National Hockey League / Getty

Winnipeg Jets veteran winger Mathieu Perreault was livid upon hearing that Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen would not be disciplined for elbowing him up high Tuesday.

"Player safety, my ass," Perreault told the Winnipeg Sun's Ted Wyman following Thursday's practice. "This is literally an elbow to the face of a guy that didn't have the puck."

Virtanen wasn't suspended or fined by the head of the NHL Department of Player Safety George Parros, nor was he penalized by the on-ice official.

"I can't really protect myself if the league's not going to protect me," Perrault continued. "I'm the smallest guy (on) the ice so I can't really fight anybody. The only thing I can do to defend myself is use my stick, so the next guy that does that to me is gonna get my f------ stick. And I better not get suspended for it."

The 5-foot-10, 188-pound Perreault missed time with a concussion after taking a late hit from Joel Farabee in December. The Philadelphia Flyers rookie was suspended three games.

Perreault said he isn't concussed, but he told the Winnipeg Sun's Scott Billeck that his jaw is sore and he will probably struggle while eating the next couple of days.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler came to the defense of his teammate and tried to fight Virtanen, but Virtanen wanted no part of it, even though it would've taken a superior player off the ice.

"(Virtanen) doesn't want to fight anybody," Perreault said. "He's gonna throw his elbow around and he's not gonna fight anybody and the league's not gonna do anything about it. So maybe I should start running around with my elbows up and getting guys in the face and I won't have to answer and fight anybody, and I should be all right, right?"

Virtanen has dropped the mitts twice in his NHL career, both times during the 2015-16 season, according to

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