Chicago Blackhawks

Drake Caggiula ‘Respects' Leagues Decision to Suspend Him as He Returns to Lineup

Drake Caggiula adjusts his helmet during a game against the St. Louis Blues

Chicago Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula will likely return to the team’s lineup after serving a one-game suspension for a hit on Edmonton Oilers forward Drake Caggiula, and he’s speaking out for the first time since serving his single-game ban.

Caggiula, who wasn’t penalized in the game for the hit, said that while he didn’t “agree” with the decision by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, he said he understood the rationale behind the move, and that he wants to see the league continue to protect players from head injuries.

“I’m all for protecting guys’ heads, especially as a guy who’s had head injuries. I have no issue with the suspension,” he said during a Zoom media call on Wednesday. “I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I respect the decision.”

Caggiula’s absence was felt in a big way by the Blackhawks, as the team was forced to double-shift Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as John Quenneville played just over six minutes in the contest. The Blackhawks ultimately lost to the Oilers, with the series now tied up at a game apiece.

According to head coach Jeremy Colliton, all players were available for the team’s practice Wednesday ahead of Game 3, meaning that Caggiula will likely be ready to slot back into the mix for the contest. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m., and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago.

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