Athanasiou: Trouba 'trying to hurt people' with high hits
Athanasiou believes Trouba has a reputation for delivering high hits and trying to injure his opponents.
"That guy is known for hitting high, not really worrying about the puck out there and almost trying to hurt people," Athanasiou told Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times. "That's his game; that's what he does."
Athanasiou also pointed sarcastically to Trouba's lack of production relative to his salary.
"He's an $8-million man with zero goals, so he has to figure out how to do something when making that much," he said. "If you can't help the team, I guess you try to hurt guys on the other team."
Here's the hit:
Here's a closer look:
Trouba was not penalized for the hit - only for fighting Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after - nor did he receive a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety.
"It was a weird play," Athanasiou said. "The puck was there. He could've made a play on the puck. Instead, it's like (he had) an intent to try to hurt somebody. ... You have to know when he's on the ice, and he got me there."
Trouba is certainly no stranger to throwing his weight around - and the Blackhawks are well aware of this. Chicago forward Jujhar Khaira had to be stretchered off the ice last season after taking a hit from Trouba. He suffered a concussion and missed nearly a month. Trouba did not receive supplemental discipline for the hit.
Khaira did get some revenge Saturday, though, as he and Trouba dropped the mitts earlier in the contest.
Trouba has only been suspended once in his career - for delivering a hit to Mark Stone's head in 2017. He's also been fined once for slashing.
The 28-year-old has registered six assists in 26 games with the Rangers this season - his first wearing the "C." He's in the fourth campaign of a seven-year, $56-million contract.
The Rangers and Blackhawks meet again Dec. 18 at the United Center.