Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Going To Take More Than a Severed Jugular To Keep Richard Zednik Down

The image to the right was captured by a Deadspin reader who was watching the Panthers/Sabres game Sunday night when Panthers player Richard Zednik's neck was sliced by the errant skate of teammate Olli Jokinen. It chillingly depicts what a person looks like when they fear they're about to die. Actually, that look of terror is pretty similar to what I look like when I wake up each morning and realize that I'm still alive, and my life is exactly the same as the day before.

Thankfully, Zednik survived this impromptu attempt at completing The Iron Lotus and is now in stable condition. If this were any other sport, I'd assume that Zednik is at least out for the year. But since it's hockey, who knows? Maybe he'll be playing tomorrow.

This is the second time that such a chilling incident has occurred in an NHL game. In 1989, Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk had his jugular sliced by a skate in the middle of a game. He also was able to skate off the ice under his own power, which is absolutely incredible considering how he looked moments after the accident (warning: extremely graphic).

In youth hockey, players are required to wear a neck guard, and I wouldn't be surprised if a similar initiative is taken in the NHL. Heck, after seeing these images, I might even get one for myself, and I don't even play hockey. But an exploding beer bottle, a low-flying bird, or a stripper with long fingernails could all spell trouble. It's a dangerous world out there.



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