Meet Richard Zednik, the NHL Florida Panthers player who was seriously injured on Sunday night after another player’s skate sliced Zednik’s neck. See his biography, photos and video here.
On February 10, 2008, Zednik was in New York with his team as the Florida Panthers took on the Buffalo Sabres. Midway through the third period in a horrific accident, Zednik’s throat was slashed open when he was hit by teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate. The crowd had been silent for 15 minutes when the announcer finally said that Zednik was in stable condition and on his way to the hospital. Today Zednik’s condition was upgraded to good.
As a biography, Richard Zednik was born January 6, 1976 in Slovakia, so his age is 32. He was drafted into the NHL in 1994 by the Washington Capitals in the tenth round. After moving around the league a bit, from the Capitals to Montreal back to the Capitals to the New York Islanders, Zednik finally landed with the Florida Panthers on February 26, 2007. Zednik has continued playing with the Slovakia national team, competing in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games as well as the World Championships and the World Cup of Hockey.
So far in the 2007-2008 season, Zednik has scored 15 goals and had 11 assists.
However, Zednik’s season may have come to an end after the accident on Sunday that left his carotid artery severed and Zednik recovering in a Buffalo hospital. As Zednik circled behind the net, teammate Jokinen was tripped up by Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur. As Jokinen fell, his right leg and the skate attached flew up and cut Zednik across the neck. Zednik immediately grabbed his throat and skated to the Panthers’ bench. The trainer took over from there and escorted the hockey player to an ambulance. Zednik’s wife, Jessica, was flown from South Florida to Buffalo on a plane chartered by the Panthers.
Zednik is slowly recovering. Doctors say it will be at least 6 to 8 weeks before he is up and running again. Panthers teammates are still holding out hope of playing with Zednik in the playoffs.
See more photos of Richard Zednik and the video of Zednik’s injury below.