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Former Cap Zednik Stable After Freak Accident

Florida winger Richard Zednik was taken to a Buffalo-area hospital moments ago after being cut on the neck by a teammate's skate blade during a game between the Panthers and Sabres. He is reportedly in stable condition.

Here's the latest via (w/video of incident):

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.
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.

Update: George Richards of the Miami Herald writes, "Zednik is out of surgery at Buffalo General; team says he is resting comfortably."

Scary stuff. Let's all hope Zed is okay and makes a full recovery.

Update:Zednik lost five units of blood after his carotid artery was nearly severed. Here's the latest via

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  February 10, 2008; 8:27 PM ET
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I have always liked Zednik as a player and a Capital. I hope that this is not as serious as it could be. I wish him well and Tarik thanks for the news on ex-cap players. Good win for the Caps today.

Posted by: Dean | February 10, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I were watching it live and that was so frightening. I immediately flashed back to Clint Malarchuk, and all of that blood. Let's all hope that he is okay and can come back soon. Great win today Caps!

Posted by: Roose | February 10, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

WOW, very scarey & both ex Caps. I sure wouldn't want to be traded if I was a Cap & then play In Buffalo.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 10, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for sharing the news on Zednik's accident. I, too, thought immediately of ex-Capital goaltender Clint Malarchuk when I read your entry.

Zednik is good hockey player, and, more importantly, a good guy. Please keep us up to date on his medical condition.

Posted by: Terptwin | February 10, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Hope that Zed is okay, makes a full recovery and can play again. In the meantime....


Posted by: Zed almost lost his head | February 10, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I should also extend my thanks to you, Tarik, for your stellar work covering the Caps. Your reporting allows me to stay in touch with my team despite living in "Blueland."

Posted by: Terptwin | February 10, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tarik, please let us know when there's more official word, losing that much blood so quickly can lead to other serious problems.

Posted by: austinsteve | February 10, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Horrible news. Giving my Zed beanie bear a squeeze for good luck. Best wishes to Zed for a full recovery.

Posted by: Jill | February 10, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Zed makes a speedy and full recovery

Posted by: Steve R | February 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Goes without saying, hope Zed is back soon. Geez...

Great win against the Rangers. As for our PP, perhaps we can put the "Cat in the Hat" from here on out.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | February 10, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

God bless Zednik! That is just a horrible horrible accident. I really hope he is ok, and pulls out of the surgery ok etc. I hope wish his family well too, that's got to be scary seeing that on tv and getting that phone call! Good luck Richard!

Posted by: puddin_an_semin | February 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I was watching the Panthers/Sabres game and man was that creepy scary. Sometimes we forget the risks these guys take to entertain us. Sometimes we get reminded. I hope Zeds is back on the ice and making this all just an unpleasant memory real soon.

Posted by: TheCapitalist | February 10, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Terrible news, I hope Zed is ok and will be able to come back. Like others, I immediately thought of Clint Malarchuk as well.

Posted by: someone else who knows | February 10, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Good on Zednik for having the presence of mind to immediately skate to the bench, and the trainer for reacting so quickly.

Posted by: honed | February 10, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, scary stuff. Zed is a good guy, and thank goodness he had the presence of mind to rush straight to the bench.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 11, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

I remember talking to a friend of mine, and getting really pissed off when the Caps traded him last year. I've met Zed once or twice, and I think his wife was a customer at my mother's bank (Or it was another Jessica Zednik). Regardless, get well soon, man. He always looked funny wearing Pivo's number though. Hope he makes it out ok.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 11, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

So, I did not get to see the game yesterday - but I hear Kolzig was pretty sick. That is what we need - him to get into his zone at this time is perfect.

I was up in Philly this weekend - I was walking around with my Caps jersey. Oddly enough, a lot of people were giving us props. Everyone said that Alex is the best player in the league - not Sid. It was def nice to hear. I just couldn't believe Philly fans were not talking smack - they were actually praising the Caps. Unusual, but a good feeling.

As for Zed - glad he is alright. You know, that is the 2nd ex Cap to get his neck sliced. The other one was Clint Malarchuk - remember that? I honestly think the Sabres and the Caps are cursed... Sabres should be banned from the league and be moved to Wisconson to be called the Wisconson Wild Flowers.

Posted by: 828 | February 11, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear that Zed is doing OK. I hated to see him leave the Caps - he was just getting his game back after his injuries. Anyway, sounds like his team took good care of him.

Listening to the Caps post-game interviews in the locker room - they're playing "Don't Stop Believing". Coincidence?!? I think not!! :-)

Posted by: Boo! | February 11, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Friend left me a message on my cell just saying a Florida player had been hurt. Heart dropped a little when I read the crawl on ESPN and it said it was Zed.

Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

I'm trying to think what the NHL can do to better protect player's necks. It'd be hard to manufacture a neck-piece that would feel comfortable enough for players to want to wear. You can't really give guy's a plastic shield like most goalies wear (I thought those were mandated...but kolzig doesn't wear one.)

Personally, I would be OK if they outlawed the kind of hit placed on Ollie-J. Forgetting flying razors in the air for those kinds of hits, that Ice is hard, and landing wrong can really do some damage to one's career.

Usually I'm against drastic change as a response to a single injury but the fact remains no matter how much you change the game, to make it completely free of these incidents would be changing the game for the worse. Personally, I'm amazed that it's only happened twice in almost 20 years in the NHL. This was a bad weekend for flying skates... Hope the Ref in the Philly/Rangers game is OK.

Posted by: FFS Enough | February 11, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

God, poor Zed. I wish him a full recovery.

Anyone remember when this happened to Jamie Heward? Almost the exact same thing happened. I believe it was Mike Modano's skate.

Posted by: captnclark | February 11, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I was at a Caps game in Landover against Buffalo during I think the 80 or 81 season. Gilbert Perrault was hauled down while on a breakway by a Caps defender (Pat Ribble I think) and he went crashing into the goal post. This was before the Marsh pegs so there was almost no give. It turned out he broke several ribs from the impact but I can remember him being surrounded by both teams' training staff for nearly 20 minutes. And I remember seeing Gilbert being carried out on the stretcher with his eyes clothes. I was only 8 years old at the time.

It's a weird feeling being at the arena when a horrifying injury occurs. I'm sure it's something all of the Sabres fans will never forget.

Posted by: dave | February 11, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@FFS Enough-

Goalies are required to wear some form of throat protection, be it by the dangling clear thing that you see many goalies off the front of the mask, or by a turtleneck type sweater that provides extra protection. Personally, I always opted for the dangling one, but many goalies do not, including Luongo, who took a puck off of the throat not too long ago, and he's doing ok. His argument for not wearing the plastic one was something to the effect of if he does, he's gonna allow one to two more goals a season at the expense of not taking the two shots off the throat. I guess it has something to do with his vision or getting down on the ice.
Players(as in, non goalies) are actually required to wear a thin throat guard up through juniors, I think, and why more don't in the NHL is beyond me. I think it's not going to take the NHL but one or two more of these incidents (or just this one, had it happened to Crosby or Ovechkin or some megastar) to grandfather in some visors and neck guards.
To be honest, though, I think Visors are stupid. When I did play defense instead of goalie, I was upended, and the visor came back on hitting the ice and sliced my nose up on two occasions. I never once took a high stick that hit the visor and bounced off, it got under the visor. I fortunately never took a puck or a skate. I'd be more preferable to the metal bars.
Vision, vision.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 11, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I am going way back here, but the injury that changed the goal was Mark Howe in Philly. He went into the net backwards and hit the goal anchoring post and was impaled. They changed the net shortly there after. Good luck Zed, it was just like Clint and both were ugly, but Clint came back to play in good time.

Posted by: Rich C | February 11, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

If it's totally against the rules to post links, do what you gotta do Tarik, but to point out what neck guards really look like for players, I think they're similar to the one's that goalies wear. Look something like this
Looking back, I think Berezin always wore one. He's the only one that really comes to mind, and maybe he just wore a huge turtleneck.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | February 11, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse


Not to be picky, but kind of a glaring error in the paper today. Green's pp winner was not the first pp in 7 games (although it makes a good story). Ovechkin's in the first period was the first pp goal. Not enough coffee before the day game?

Continued great coverage, nonetheless.

And, on a slightly off-topic rant, WTF is up with the Post giving the Redskins head coach selection A1 above-the-fold coverage? There's a presidential election, a war, a recession and about 8 million other more important stories that can get front page coverage. I think the Caps could win the Stanley Cup and they might get back page sports section coverage, while weight room day for the practice squad of the skins gets sports 1 coverage. Rant over.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 11, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree. I've tried to support Chainsaw-Dan in the past with his management of the Skins. Especially in the past 4 years when he has really taken a back seat.

But the way the coaching position was handled this offseason was borderline idiotic. His management of the FedEx facilities for games is horrible. And one has to wonder, Any other team in the league would have fired their GM by now, with Vinny's record over the past 10 years. This team is in a downward spiral and the team's decision to promote the last guy to say "not-it!" does NOT deserve front page news.


Posted by: FFS Enough | February 11, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

You never want to see anything like that. I too was at the Perrault game but was 3 or 4 at the time. I remember the players staying on the bench, then they got up and skated around the ice slowly like they would during pre-period warm-ups.

You never want to see a skate-to-skin contact. Anyone remember Verbeek to Langway? Then the jerk does it again the next season and nothing handed down by the NHL. Verbeek never skated with his skate that high unless he was near an opponent's leg and there was plenty of tape to prove it.

Does anyone know what they did to Zed when he got to the hospital? I know there was surgery but did they have to pull out the artery and put in a new one? Stiches? That kind of thing? It looked serious and the amount of blood on the ice showed it to be serious. I'm just curious to know what the docs had to do and how long they had to do it.

Posted by: Freak Accident | February 11, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty nasty and depressing.

Posted by: 828 | February 11, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | February 11, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@ Old Time Hockey

Dude, how long have you lived here? ;)

Considering that this happened the day after Dapuzzo, I wonder if this will be the focus of conversation over the next few days or so.

Posted by: Olie Troll | February 11, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@olie troll

I've lived about 15 years. But, the Post is supposed to be a paper of national importance. Jim Zorn is not nationally important.

Posted by: old time hockey | February 11, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

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