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Cutthroat Hockey

February 12, 2008

I know, that’s a horrible title, but I’m a horrible person.  It all works.

I’m amazed it doesn’t happen more often, but the other day a defensemen for the Flordia Panthers, Richard Zednik, had his carotid artery cut by a teammate’s skate.  Surgery to repair the injury was successful, and apparently his injury wasn’t life-threatening as the artery wasn’t severed.

This first video shows the play in real time, and it’s worth a look to see how quickly and calmly Zednik skates to the bench despite his serious injury.  That’s of particular contrast to another similar play which will follow.

This second video, after several seconds of yapping, gives a clearer shot of what happened.

This play happened in St. Louis and ironically also features the Buffalo Sabres.  Goalie Clint Malarchuk was unable to skate to the bench, as he suffered a near-fatal severing of the carotid.

This is a segment on ESPN of the play with interviews and different angles.

Goalies can wear plastic shields that at least partially cover their neck and are designed to stop the puck, but which would also serve as partial protection from skates.  I’m not sure how position players could be protected, and I guess there isn’t a lot of need for it as the two injuries above are separated by almost 19 years.  Crazy stuff.

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