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We’ve been too wrapped up with the start of the college football season to pay much mind to ice hockey, but the NHL’s preseason officially hit the radar screen over the weekend courtesy of Calgary Flames’ defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

Who’s he?

Well, in addition to being the boyfriend of Calgary native Elisha Cuthbert, Phaneuf is one of hockey’s rising young stars and one of its hardest hitters.  Last Thursday, he showed just how thick he “lays the lumber” with this punishing hit on New York Islanders’ forward Kyle Okposo …


After the hit, Okposo didn’t move for six minutes and eventually had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.  Diagnosed with a mild concussion, he’s fortunate it wasn’t worse.

Ironically, the very next day the NHL announced its “Concussion Awareness Campaign,” which aims to to “raise awareness of the importance of identifying concussions and implementing appropriate management when they do occur.”

Phaneuf’s hit has infuriated the Islanders, but the bruising defenseman has said that it was clean.

Update: Sorry, no word on whether or not Bridget Keeney was at the game …