Two locked out players take pucks to head in separate incidents abroad
With the NHL lockout still in full swing, many players have continued to play elsewhere. As is always the case when a player goes elsewhere during the lockout, teams have to worry that said player could get seriously hurt and be unable to return to their actual team if the lockout ends. This week, two players (and their parent teams) experienced that terrifying moment when they each took a puck to the face.
On Nov. 8, Boston Bruins prospect Alex Khokhlachev was hit in the face by a slap shot during a contest between the Russia junior national team and Canada’s CHL players. Khokhlachev had fallen onto his stomach to block a shot from the point, however, he wound up taking the shot on the side of his head. The 19-year-old proceeded to cover his head in pain, according to CSNNE.com.
Early reports from CBC rink side reporter Elliotte Friedman state that Khokhlachev should be all right. Nonetheless, there is still a chance that he does not play the rest of the season. However, since Kokhlachev is not very high up on the Bruins depth chart, the Bruins likely aren’t overly concerned about him.
The Kokhlachev incident was mirrored on Tuesday when Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was hospitalized after he also took a slap shot to the head. Martinez suffered the injury while he was playing for TPS Turku, according to NBCSports.com.
Martinez took the shot off of his face, and it appeared to hit just under his visor. He fell to the ground before trying to get up on his own, and within seconds, an opposing player and a referee called to the bench for assistance. As Martinez stood up, he showed serious facial bleeding and left a trail of blood on the ice. He was sent to the hospital for further evaluation.
Martinez’s injury in particular is just one example of the drawbacks for players impacted by the NHL lockout. Martinez has now been injured in a game that he technically should not have played. If any part of the season is salvaged, the Kings could be without Martinez, who was an important player in Los Angeles’ Stanley Cup win last season.
It will be interesting to see how many more injuries happen during the course of the lockout and how they impact various teams if the season does resume.