VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Donald Brashear doesn't remember being attacked by Marty McSorley, and one week later, he still can't believe it happened.
''I never thought I'd see a player acting like that toward another player,'' the Vancouver Canucks forward said Monday of McSorley, who last week brutally swung his stick to Brashear's head. ''I wonder what was going through his mind to do a thing like that.''
The hit sent Brashear falling backward, and his head smashed against the ice, leaving him unconscious. His body twitched and blood streamed from his nose.
''If you watch the tape, you can see I was out before I fell on the ice,'' said Brashear, who remembers waking up, but was unsure of where.
Brashear, diagnosed with the most serious grade of concussion, said that he still has daily headaches. He cannot exercise for at least two weeks, and his status will be reviewed then.
Brashear came to Monday's news conference, his first since the Feb. 21 game, wearing a blue baseball cap.
Asked whether he recalled taunting the Boston bench before he was struck, Brashear said: ''There's not much I remember. But I remember that was a game that I had to play hard, where I was just doing my job. I remember we got into a fight right off the start. Those are all things that I have to do during a game.''
Brashear, in the midst of his best season, defended his behavior on the ice, calling fighting and taunting part of the game. He has 11 goals and two assists in 57 games.
''In a game you try to make people lose their focus by any different way,'' he said. ''Certainly not be hitting someone in the head with your stick.''
McSorley has apologized profusely. The Boston defenseman was suspended for at least the rest of the regular season, consisting of 23 games, and the playoffs. He must meet with commissioner Gary Bettman before he is reinstated.
Brashear takes consolation in still being able to function and think about a return to hockey.
''I'm just happy that I can walk right now and be on my feet and see my 4-month-old son, and keep living,'' he said. ''But I'm not going to feel as good as when I'm going to be able to put my skates back on, give a hit or take a hit or get into a fight for my teammates. I'm not going to change the way I play the game in any way.''
Brashear said McSorley telephoned him, but he wasn't there to take the call.
''I don't think I would have talked to him,'' he said.
While conceding most NHL players wear their helmets with the straps loosened, Brashear insisted he was wearing his helmet properly. He said the way he was moving and the way he fell after being struck accounted for his helmet coming off.
''So I was still protected by my helmet when I fell,'' he said.
Brashear didn't say much about the investigation by police, who are considering assault charges against McSorley.
''I'm not really concerned with that,'' Brashear said. ''That's not something I care about, that I think about every day. What I think about the most is getting healthy and getting back in my skates.''
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