UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The hit was legal, everyone agreed. But should it be?
The Canes' Brandon Sutter was knocked senseless Saturday night in a 4-3 victory over the Islanders. Former Hurricane forward Doug Weight slammed into Sutter in the third period as Sutter tried to poke the puck into the Islanders' zone.
Sutter had his head down and no penalty was called on Weight, who put his shoulder into Sutter. But Canes coach Peter Laviolette said the NHL needs to make a change to prevent such injuries.
"Obviously it was a devastating hit," Laviolette said.
Sutter, who was prone on the ice for several minutes, was taken to a hospital and kept overnight for further observation.
"That hit has to be removed from the game," Laviolette said. "Guys are really getting hurt.
"By the letter of the law, (Weight's) arm didn't come up. But they're trying to take away blows to the head and (Sutter) was in a vulnerable position and was knocked out."
The Canes' Matt Cullen suffered a concussion and had vision problems last season after an open-ice hit by the New York Rangers' Colton Orr that knocked out Cullen.
Canes goalie Cam Ward said he did not see the Weight hit.
"Knowing Dougie, I know he doesn't play dirty," Ward said of his former teammate, a member of the Canes' 2006 Stanley Cup champions. "It's an unfortunate thing that happened. It's tough to see one of your teammates out on the ice.
"We just hope that he's OK and can get back soon."