10 most tragic hockey injuries


In this article, you will get all the information regarding 10 most tragic hockey injuries

dated: 2022-11-20 15:28:54 .

Hockey is a relentless sport. With slightly less serious injuries than American football, hockey is rightfully considered one of the riskiest sports in the world. This list takes a look at some of the scariest injuries in NHL history.

Much like hockey, soccer is a sport that causes many injuries, sometimes fatal. Here is a list of 10 football players who have tragically died from injuries sustained in a match.


The tragic death of Bill Masterton

Although hockey is considered a dangerous sport, only one NHL player has died from injuries sustained during a game. That player was Bill Masterson of the Minnesota North Stars. Back in the 1960s, the NHL did not require players to wear helmets during a game. In 1968, in a game against the Oakland Seals, Masterton collided with two other players. The force of the blow knocked him unconscious before falling to the ice. As a result, Masterton could not adjust the fall and hit his head on the hard ice. Bill reportedly regained consciousness only once after the incident, declaring “never again”. The player died only 30 hours later in the hospital.

This tragic event is what directly fueled the debate about whether a helmet should be a mandatory addition to hockey equipment. Masterton’s death helped speed up the process of making protective headgear mandatory, and his sacrifice likely saved the lives of many other hockey players over the years.

To celebrate Masterton’s legacy and honor the first and only fatal injury in the NHL, the Bill Masterton’s Trophy was established. A trophy awarded since 1968 to players who “demonstrate perseverance and dedication to hockey.” While the award isn’t the most recognizable decoration in hockey, it’s certainly a good way to ensure Masterton is never forgotten.

Clint Malarchuk’s throat cut

Clint Malarchuk is a former NHL goaltender who played for teams such as the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. While playing for the Buffalo Sabres, Malarchuk suffered a severe neck injury that is hard to forget for anyone who heard about it. During a game in 1989, two players hit the goal area. Malarchuk was hit by the skate of one of the players in the right front side of the neck. Due to the accident, Malarchuk’s carotid artery was completely severed and his jugular vein was partially severed. The terrifying sight of a bleeding Malarchuk on the ice caused great panic. Allegedly, 11 fans fainted, 2 had heart attacks, and several players vomited on the ice.

At the time of his injury, Clint was sure he was going to die. The only thing the player could think about at this point was to get off the ice, hoping that his mother, who was watching the game on TV, would not witness her son’s death. Malarchuk managed to leave the ice on his own. Fortunately, Malarchuk’s injury turned out to be non-fatal. Sabers athletic trainer and Vietnam War veteran Jim Pizzutelli helped Clint off the ice and grabbed his neck to stop the bleeding while he waited for paramedics to save the player. Malarchuk’s cut was so severe that they had to use 300 stitches to close the wound. Surprisingly, Clint was back on the ice in less than two weeks.

Horrible cut by Richard Zednik

Two decades after Malarchuk’s tragic injury, Richard Zednik suffered a similar injury. Ironically, this game also involved the Buffalo Sabres, who Zednik’s Florida Panthers faced on February 10, 2008. In a very similar situation, two players got into a fight and lost their balance as Richard Zednik skated near them. As Richard tried to get past them, one of the skates of the collapsing player touched Zednik’s neck. The blow caused Zednik to fall forward as his neck spewed a trail of blood onto the ice and Richard began to bleed.

Fortunately, Zednik was composed and while applying pressure to his wound, he skated off the ice to get help. A year after Malarchuk watched the tape of Zednik’s throat slit, he began seeking therapy for his PTSD. Although both NHL players survived these terrible accidents, such injuries do not always end well. 16-year-old Benjamin Edward Balkind died on January 6, 2022 during a game at Brunswick School after suffering an injury similar to those of Zednik and Malarchuk. This event reignited the debate over whether protective collars should become mandatory for use in high school, college and professional hockey.

Gerard Gallant steps on Börje Salming’s face

Salming is a retired NHL player from Sweden who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was the first European to play in 1,000 career NHL games. On November 26, 1986, in a road game against the Detroit Red Wings, Börje fell on the ice during a fight. Shortly after Salming’s unfortunate fall, Gerard Gallant accidentally stepped on Salming’s face with his skate, resting his full body weight on Börje’s head. Salming’s wound was very deep and required 200 stitches to close. He recovered well and the scar has healed nicely over the years.

Unfortunately, Salming was recently diagnosed with ALS, a disease that causes a progressive loss of motor functions. There is a strong link between the development of ALS in people who have suffered repeated brain injuries, which is not unusual for a hockey player. Such cases always remind how important helmets and masks are during the game.

Unlucky block by Trent McCleary

Trent McCleary almost died after suffering one of the worst hockey injuries in history. A hockey puck hit him in the throat after the player blocked an opponent’s shot. It all happened in a game in 2000 when McCleary, playing for the Montreal Canadiens, faced the Philadelphia Flyers. The blow was so strong that Trent looked like he was going to lose consciousness. The puck broke McCleary’s larynx causing internal bleeding, which severed McCleary’s airway and caused one lung to collapse. The player was rushed to the hospital and arrived there in critical condition. McCleary’s injury required a tracheotomy procedure to restore oxygen to his system. McCleary survived, but was very close to death. This injury unfortunately ended McCleary’s career.

Bryan Berard got hit in the eye

Back in 2000, Toronto Maple Leafs player Bryan Bernard played in a game against the Ottawa Senators. Berard was accidentally hit with a hockey stick during the game. The blade of the stick hit his face, especially his eyes. Berard began to bleed from his eye socket and temporarily lost his sight. The eye was severely cut at the sclera resulting in a retinal tear and retinal detachment. The player had to be helped off the ice because he could not see. The injury required a lengthy operation, but Berard’s vision never returned to perfection. Despite this, Berard still managed to continue his NHL career on the ice even with impaired vision.

10 most tragic hockey injuries

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