A day after scoring twice against Boston, Slovokian F Richard Zednik had his throat slashed by the skate of Florida teammate Olli Jokinen during the second period of the Panthers’ 5-3 loss to Buffalo Sunday. Following surgery, Zednick is said to be recovering.
The Buffalo News’ John Vogl recalled the gruesome 1989 injury suffered by Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuck in the following report :
With 9:56 remaining in the game. The Panthers’ Olli Jokinen collided with the Sabres’ Clarke MacArthur in the corner. As Jokinen fell, his right leg went airborne. Zednik was skating toward the play, and Jokinen’s skate sliced into the right side of Zednik’s neck.
“Blood was coming out of his throat, and I was right there,” Jokinen said. “At first I didn’t know it was my skate because I fell down. I saw the replay on the TV, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
“There’s a lot of freaky injuries in hockey. If you hurt your knee or break your arm, it’s nothing. This is an injury where you can die. It’s crazy.”
Zednik skated from the corner to his bench, where he was greeted by Panthers trainer Dave Zenobi. The trainer quickly applied a towel to the neck of the 32-year-old forward, who was escorted through the tunnel leading to the dressing room.
Zednik and Zenobi were met by Sabres trainer Tim Macre and team doctors Les Bisson and William Hartrich. The group went into the medical room stationed between the dressing rooms. They worked on Zednik for 10 minutes, and Bisson managed to stop the bleeding.
Zednik, still in full uniform, was then taken to an ambulance. Zenobi escorted Zednik to the hospital and was staying overnight, along with Panthers Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton. Zednik’s wife, Jessica, was flying to Buffalo on a Panthers charter.
“It was a good decision on his part, the fact that he skated toward the bench,” Panthers coach and General Manager Jacques Martin said. “I think that saved some time and allowed our trainer, Dave Zenobi, to get on and put pressure right away.”
Gasps came from the players and the sellout crowd of 18,690 as they saw the blood trail.
“I saw the whole thing, one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in hockey,” said Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, who was about 20 feet away from the incident. “I saw Jokinen’s skate going up, so it was kind of like a car crash. I had to keep watching.
“I saw it, and it looked like a Quentin Tarantino movie. I don’t know. I don’t want to see anymore of that.”