If you missed it yesterday, Canada was playing Sweden in the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Championships in Stockholm. In the first period, Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal was the victim of an ugly knee-on-knee collision by Swedish defenseman Alex Edler of the Vancouver Canucks.
The video of the incident is below.
Whether you think it was a dirty hit is not the question. That’s a separate issue. Heck, season-ending injuries happen on clean plays all the time. We’ve also seen knee-on-knee injuries end a player’s career before. But, again, separate issue. The real question that teams and players have to ask themselves is: is the risk worth the reward?
Logic says that injuries like this on the international stage are rare. How many players go play after their NHL season is over and finish the tournament just fine? Nearly all. Plus, it’s a huge honor to play for your country. When asked, it’s practically instinct to say “yes.” And, all things being equal, it should be that way...