Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pisellini's punch lands Todd on sidelines

Jim Parker, Windsor Star
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Scott Todd was trying to spark his teammates.

The six-foot-five, 223-pound defenceman for the Windsor Spitfires had done it dozens of times before by dropping the gloves to battle the opposition's heavyweight.

"What better way to get your team going," Todd said.

Four seconds into Saturday's game in Plymouth, Todd and Whalers heavyweight Gino Pisellini dropped the gloves. Todd, 19, got in a heavy right and two other shots before a Pisellini right exploded in his face.

"You know there's always a chance you can get hurt, but you never plan for it," Todd said.

He ended up in the hospital and today will undergo surgery to repair his cheek bone, which was broken in two places.

"The orbital bone is pushed in and under the eye," Todd said Monday. "They have to pull it out where it was before. "Then, I'll get two plates and they'll build my cheek back up to where it was."

The Kingston (Ont.) native will be out of action between four and five weeks, which might cost him the rest of the season.

"I'm hoping to be back in four," Todd said. "I asked the doctor (Monday) if there was any (long-term) damage. He said as long I give it proper time to heal I'd be fine."

When he gets back, Todd said he won't hesitate to drop the gloves again.

"I'm not worried about it," he said.

For Todd, it's the way the game has to be played. It's what got him drafted into the Ontario Hockey League and subsequently caught the attention of the NHL's Nashville Predators, who drafted him last year.

"I know that's the way I'm probably going to get (to the NHL), so I still have to do it," said Todd, who has 410 penalty minutes in 145 career OHL games.

He became an instant fan favourite last season when the Spitfires acquired him from Oshawa. In his first game, his fight with Brody Todd buckled the Ottawa forward and put him out of action for three weeks with a concussion.


By the same token, this isn't the first time Pisellini has sent Todd in for surgery. A fight last year broke Todd's nose and forced him to undergo surgery.

"It's all right," Todd said. "Some say it's brutal and some say it's fun."

And down the road, it's something Todd will engage in again.

"You just put it in the back of your mind," Todd said.

Photo courtesy of the Windsor Star.

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