Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba is still frustrated that he suffered a potentially season-ending shoulder injury in an unwarranted fight against Calgary's Mathew Tkachuk.
Dumba admitted Friday that he suffered the shoulder injury throwing a wild punch in the fight, which Tkachuk started in response to a clean hit Dumba put on one of Tkachuck's teammates during a Dec. 6 game in Calgary.
"Yeah it happened during the fight. I think a punch that I missed," said Dumba, speaking with media for the first time since undergoing surgery Dec. 26.
"I had a bunch of stitches in my face and I think he kind of rubbed those or hit those a couple times and it just made me pretty angry, and I think I just threw a wild punch that didn't connect."
Dumba said he knew he knew Calgary would send a player out to fight him, and they did just 40 seconds into the game when Tkachuk dropped his gloves. But still, Dumba said the fight wasn't warranted.
"It wasn't really warranted. Clean hit, nothing from the NHL, no penalty on the play. I got jumped seconds after, you know," Dumba said, referring to Calgary sending a guy off the bench to tackle him and start throwing haymakers in the waning seconds of the Dec. 6 game.
"It is frustrating, even talking about it now I'm just getting caught up in the emotion of it. Everything about it sucks."
Dumba was leading all NHL defenseman with 12 goals when he got injured, and now he's not sure if he'll be able to return to the ice this season.
"It's a slower process because you have to gain that range of motion back and be slow with it," he said. "It's not something you can rush at all. The doctors aren't really giving me much as of right now."