Hockey is an out and out physical game. The players require moving around quickly on skates and shoot frozen chunks of vulcanized rubber. This is supposed to be done at speeds of over 100 mph. Players must use their bodies for check each other. They need to block shots. Under these circumstances, injuries are unavoidable. Although injuries are counted as an integral part of the game, certain incidents of gruesome attacks have also been recorded in the annals of hockey history. Horrific injuries and on-ice death are not uncommon.
Here’s a list of some of the most gruesome injuries in the history of hockey:
1. Bob Baun Breaks Ankle
Bob Baun, the defenseman of Maple Leafs was best remembered for overtime score in Stanley Cup Final’s Game 6 held in the year 1964. It let Toronto win an additional Stanley Cup. During 3rd period of game, Baun broke his ankle. He was removed from the ice on a stretcher. In overtime, he managed to return in overtime. Baun also scored the game-winner.
2. Raffi Torres Smashes Marian Hossa
This is referred to as one of the most devastating hits in 2012 playoffs. Torres of Phoenix ended Hossa’s season. The former earned winger suspension (21 games). During the game, Hossa suffered a concussion.
3. Bryan Berard Tore Retina by Hossa’s Hit
Bryan Berard, the defenseman of Leafs was accidentally clipped in eye on March 11, year 2000. The stick of Marian Hossa from Ottawa caused the damage. The player suffered a serious retinal tear. After some time, he also had to face the problem of detached retina which cost him his hockey career. This unfortunate event caused him seven eye surgeries. This player also missed the rest of the 1999-2000 season. Eventually, he was forced to be away from the following year due to restricted vision. Later, Berard was back in action in 2001-02 with New York Rangers and played NHL’s 6 more seasons.
4. Ted Green and Wayne Maki Swing Their Sticks
This preseason game saw some real life violence. Ted Green of Boston and Wayne Maki of St. Louis Blues broke into stick-swinging combat ending with Green getting struck in the head. The blow was hard and Green fell on the ice fracturing his skull. The player also suffered from brain damage. Green had to miss the 1969-70 season. Upon returning to ice for the following season, he had to wear a helmet. The witnesses said that the attack by Maki was one of the most violent in the entire league history.
5. Bill Masterton Killed
This is the only ice death in the history of NHL. The unfortunate incident took place on January 13, year 1968. Two members of Oakland Seals hit Bill Masterton from Minnesota North Stars. They Materton’s head really hard on the ice. Tracy Pratt, defenseman of Seals was present on the ice at that time.
According to Pratt, Harris was backchecking at that time and Masterton was on the left wing skating down their right side. Pratt reached the player to stand him up. Suddenly, Ronnie approached from behind. The skates of Masterton came up from under him. His head hit the ice. All players around were in shock. They also observed some thick and clotty blood on ice. Everyone around including Pratt started to waive their arms for the trainers. Masterton stopped making any movement. The doctors rushed and took him off the ice. However, Masterton slipped into a coma. He failed to regain consciousness and died a few days later. Later on, the league created the popular Masterton Trophy to honor the player.
6. Ace Bailey Is Nearly Killed by Eddie Shore
The incident took place on 12th December, year 1933. Ace Bailey of Toronto’s career came to an end forever. Eddie Shore, the defenseman of Bruins hit Bailey from behind. This blow nearly ended his life. Bailey’s skull suffered from a fracture. He was immediately rushed to the hospital. An emergency surgery saved his life. His survival was a miracle. The incident ended Bailey’s hockey career forever.
7. Gordie Howe Punches Lou Fontinato
Rangers player Leapin’ Louie Fontinato fought Gordie Howe (Detroit). One of the heavyweights of league, Fontinato couldn’t win over Howe. He suffered from a broken cheekbone, nose, and dislocated jaw. Fundamentally, Howe had to rebuild his entire face.
8. Ryan Hollweg Got Hit in the Face by Chris Simon
Ryan Hollweg (New York Rangers) and Chris Simon (New York Islanders) had an intense game at the Nassau Coliseum on March 8, year 2007. Simon slashed across Ryan’s face after the later delivered a check to the former. Simon took this as an offense. He bladed over to Ryan and took a swing (similar to baseball) hitting him forward in face and on shoulder pads. Following this attack, Hollweg immediately fell to the ice. The injury required many stitches for recovery. Simon got suspended for next 25 games for his action.
9. Charlie Simmer and Broken Leg
Simmer, the player of Los Angeles Kings suffered an agonizing injury during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. On March 2, year 1981, Simmer got attacked into the boards. The incident broke his leg badly. The leg moved to a terrible angle leaving the player wriggling in pain on the ice. The injury resulted in the player missing the rest of the playoffs and season and the playoffs that year.
10. Richard Got Bloody Face to the after Slamming into Ice This was one of the most memorable goals by Richard. Recorded on April 8, 1952, “The Rocket” Richard scored amazingly well in a contest game against the Boston Bruins. In the earlier part of the game, Richard got hit really hard. His head hit badly in the ice resulting in a traumatic brain injury (concussion). He also suffered from a cut above the eye. The player had blood dripping down the face continuously. Extraordinarily, Richard resumed the game and scored a winning goal with an eye covered with bandage.
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