Report: Slap shot to the spinal cord could threaten player’s career

The scary incident ends with a player being stretchered off the ice and taken immediately to hospital.

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Here’s something you never want to see: a stretch on the ice during a hockey game. During last night’s ECHL game between the Cincinnati Cyclones and the Fort Wayne Comets, Cyclones forward Dominic Zombo was rushed off the ice via stretcher following a scary play late in the first period. 

For a proper recounting of the events, here’s Blake Sebring for the Fort Wayne News Sentinel:

Cincinnati forward Dominic Zombo had to leave the ice on a stretcher at the end of the first period Saturday night in Fort Wayne. As the clock was running down on the period, Zombo cut toward the Fort Wayne net when Komets defenseman Curtis Leonard pushed him back and knocked Zombo to the ice. As Zombo was falling backwards to the ice, Cyclones forward Alexander Taulien fired a shot toward the Fort Wayne net and the puck hit Zombo in the back of the neck.

Oh no. That sounds terrifying.  More from Sebring:

Players from both teams stayed on the ice and on their benches. Several players from both teams immediately circled Zombo while others cleared the area of gloves and sticks. Komets veteran Shawn Szydlowski and Justin Hodgman raced to the other end of the ice to aid more medical officials and paramedics to get to the other end of the ice.
Eventually, after about five minutes, players from both teams helped lift Zombo, 26, onto a stretcher and he was led off the ice to receive more medical attention and be taken to the hospital. Zombo was able to move his arms and wiggle his feet while he was on the ice and gave the crowd a thumbs up as he was stretchered off the ice.

While we don’t have any video footage of the incident, we can share some photos from last night’s game. 

Check it out:

Zombo was transported to an area hospital, Parkview North, but was able to move all his extremities and was reportedly joking with the team's medical staff before leaving the arena.

UPDATE: Zombo has feeling in all his extremities and has officially been released from the hospital. The team is hopeful that he'll be able to return to action soon and it appears as though this scary incident will not impact his playing career. Thank goodness.

Former NHLer knocks out referee out cold with a brutal sucker punch

 Hands up if you remember former NHLer Andrei Kovalenko. The big Russian winger played over 600 career games in the NHL split between the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins, but left for the KHL, or rather its predecessors the Russian Super League (RSL) following the 2000-2001 NHL season. 

The big man affectionately known as “The Tank” by former teammates is probably best known for being part of the trade package that netted the Avs goaltender Patrick Roy from the Canadiens. Covalence was shipped to the Habs, along with goaltender Jocelyn Thibault and Martin Rucinsky for Roy and forward Mike Keane. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since leaving North America and retiring from professional hockey in Russia in the late 2000s, Kovalenko has remained in the sport and is currently the head of the KHL’s Players Association. As such, Kovalenko is a spokesman for the league and often participates in promotional events including one earlier this week in the league’s United Corporate league where he apparently took issue with a referee’s call. So much so that he delivered a devastating sucker punch to the official, knocking him out cold and giving him a concussion.

Check it out:

WTF!? The referee, Vladislav Kiselev, was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. He made an official statement to Swedish hockey magazine Aftonbladet the next day saying:

“He could not control himself, he hit me several times. He was furious. I told him to go and sit in the stall, then he pulled me in, burst out all other judges and players - and hit me hard again.”

Kovalenko has reportedly not reached out to Kiselev to offer an apology or to explain his actions. Double WTF!?