Panthers F Zednik slashed in neck by skate


Registered User
Mar 29, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Panthers forward Richard Zednik underwent surgery to close a deep gash on the right side of his neck, after he was cut by a teammate's skate during a game against the Sabres on Sunday night.

Zednik was in stable condition at a Buffalo hospital.

Blood gushed from Zednik's neck after he was hurt midway through the third period of Buffalo's 5-3 victory, creating a frightening moment that delayed the game for about 15 minutes, and there was a brief discussion about postponing the game altogether.

Zednik was behind the play and skating into the right corner of the Sabres' zone, when teammate Olli Jokinen was upended by Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur. Jokinen fell head-first to the ice, and his right leg flew up and struck Zednik directly on the side of the neck.

Clutching his neck, Zednik immediately raced to the Florida bench, leaving a long trail of blood. Arriving at the bench, he nearly fell into the arms of a team trainer, who quickly applied a towel to the cut. Zednik was then helped off the ice by the trainer and teammate Jassen Cullimore, and escorted immediately to the Panthers' dressing room.

Panthers spokesman Justin Copertino said Zednik was transported by ambulance to nearby Buffalo General Hospital. Copertino said the team was making arrangements to have Zednik's wife, Jessica, fly from South Florida to Buffalo by a charter flight Sunday night.

The team was scheduled to return to Miami, but assistant general manager Randy Sexton and assistant trainer Dave Zenobi were going to stay behind to be with Zednik, Copertino said.

Zednik's injury left players and coaches on both benches in shock, and a silent hush fell over the crowd at HSBC Arena.

The injury in Buffalo held an eerie reminder of March 1989, when the skate of St. Louis' Steve Tuttle cut open the jugular vein of Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk.

NHL vice president Colin Campbell consulted with Sabres general manager Darcy Regier and referee Bill McCreary in a tunnel after Zednik was loaded into an ambulance. Campbell, who was not available for comment was in attendance in part because his son, Gregory Campbell, plays for the Panthers.

Jokinen, the Panthers' captain, was so shaken by the injury that he thought officials should have stopped the game with 9:56 remaining.

"We shouldn't have finished the game," Jokinen said. "I saw the replay, that it was my skate that hit him in the throat. I think we were all in shock. I've never seen anything like that. There are bigger things than [finishing the game]. It was terrifying."

"I didn't think anyone on our team was thinking hockey out there after an injury like that," Jokinen said. "If it was my call, I would have gone to the hospital with him."

Coach Lindy Ruff said he and his players were also upset, and he wouldn't have been against the game being stopped.

"I don't know if there is a right answer, I don't know. I can fully understand if they wanted to cancel the whole game," Ruff said.

"It was pretty solemn. There wasn't a lot being said. There was just more concern for Richard than anything else," Ruff said, describing the mood on the bench. "When you see something like that, it isn't about playing anymore. But I said, we're going to finish the game and it's going to be what it's going to be."

As crews sc***** the blood from the ice and the surface was cleaned by Zambonis during the extended delay, the public address announcer said: "Richard Zednik is in stable condition and on his way to a Buffalo hospital."

The crowd stood in applause during the announcement.

Panthers defenseman Steve Montador recalled seeing Zednik in a state of shock as he got to the bench.

"He looked pale, he was obviously standing and to a degree, coherent. But he didn't look as focused as you or I right now. He was staring at nothing," Montador said. "That's a pretty brave guy to realize what's going on: Grab your neck and get off the ice."

It was the second serious injury caused by a skate this weekend.

On Saturday, NHL linesman Pat Dapuzzo needed dozens of stitches to close a cut on his face after he was hit by the skate of Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie in a game against the New York Rangers.

Dapuzzo, scheduled to retire at the end of the season, didn't return after the second-period injury.





Registered User
Mar 29, 2005
Not as bad as the Clint Malarchuk incident, but still really freakin bad.


White Death
Apr 29, 2007
Sterling Heights, MI
Not as bad as the Clint Malarchuk incident, but still really freakin bad.
I think it is just as bad, there was a fucking shitload of blood. Both had their jugulars sliced, so they're probably about the same. There's a video and some discussion of this in the NHL season thread also, if anyone wants to see it in there too.


Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
Wilmington, NC
Not as bad as the Clint Malarchuk incident, but still really freakin bad.
Yeah, it actually is just as bad from the injury standpoint. The only thing that makes it a little more bearable is that there aren't any clips of the blood pouring out of him, like with Malarchuk. It actually looked like Zednik was quick to put pressure on it and get to the bench immediately. Malarchuk had a glove and blocker to remove, then his helmet. And the Malarchuk incident wasn't behind the play like Zednik, so we got some pretty nasty shots of blood shooting out of his neck. Had Zednik remained on the ice and not skated to the bench, he probably would've been dead. You wouldn't be talking about having a couple minutes before death, but with a person who's already got their heart pumping in the heat of the game, you're talking about seconds from death. He is very lucky.

Fr. Dougal

Registered User
Feb 17, 2004
Plus with Malarchuk's injury, he was already down with the big pads... hard to get back up while holding your neck. Goalie equipment was weighing him down. Still, the trainer literally put his fingers into the wound and pinched the nerve.

I wouldn't be surprised if we hear a similar story about Zednik and the trainer last night.

There is video of the pouring blood - I posted it in the NHL thread. The difference between the two is that Malarchuck's cut kind of spurted... Zednik's looked like an explosion of blood followed by spurting. (Sorry for the graphic description, but I don't know of another way to say it succinctly. Watch the vid and you'll see what I mean.)

Thank God Zed was able to get to the bench as quick as he did. It definitely saved his life.


Kansas City...Kansas City here they come!
Jul 18, 2005
Wantagh, LI
Clint Malarchuk never sliced open his jugular. The skate missed it by a matter of inches. Haven't heard any reports yet whether or not Zednick did.
May 7, 2003
Hicksville NY
Clint Malarchuk never sliced open his jugular. The skate missed it by a matter of inches. Haven't heard any reports yet whether or not Zednick did.
Reports were inch deeper he prob be dead....But I guess an inch is kinda far

Papagolash [Incarcerated]
Wackbag Staff
Nov 11, 2001
Clint Malarchuk never sliced open his jugular. The skate missed it by a matter of inches. Haven't heard any reports yet whether or not Zednick did.

Actually Clarakchuk sliced his jugular. Zednick sliced his carotid artery.


Registered User
Oct 4, 2004
White Plains, NY
I played hockey from when I was a little tyke until I graduated from High school. I never understood the neckguard since it was some piece of cloth with zero support or real padding. I always thought that if you were going to get hit in the neck with a puck or a stick, it would hurt like hell so why wear it. This is the first time I realized why they really made us wear it.
I dont know why but I just cant watch this and I really get freaked out watching the video.
Mar 15, 2004
New Jersey
The most amazing thing of those photo's is there is a golfer in the stands.

Holy shit, that was like "Where's Waldo." I just sat with my face 3 inches from my monitor looking in the shadows trying to make out a face...