After last night’s horrific hit on Tim Jackman of the Anaheim Ducks by the Sharks’ Jon Scott — which left him motionless on the ice — uSports thought about the scariest hockey injuries seen in the NHL. This is not to glorify the injuries in any way, but to put a spotlight on some of the greatest sacrifices in one of the most demanding sports. So without further ado, here are the top 5 scariest hockey injuries in no particular order.

Stephane Robidas’ Leg Injury

Perhaps the least talked about in this department, the Stephane Robidas leg injury during the 2013 Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks game is hard to watch. It is certainly not as gruesome or emphasized as the other entries on the list, but it is downright horrifying: with the actual leg break looking like a freak accident. Despite breaking both his tibula and fibula in his right leg, Robidas would return to the ice a member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2014, where he suffered another fracture to the same leg: but his perseverance resulted in him signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.

Marc Staal’s Eye


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On March 5, 2013, New York Rangers star Marc Staal was playing in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. A harmless face off won by the Flyers set up a Kimmo Timonen slap shot. The resulting shot was wildly off course and ended up hitting the alternate captain in the eye. Perhaps the hardest part of the video is Marc Staal squirming in pain. It does not matter if you absolutely hate the Rangers, no one wishes that injury on someone. Luckily, the doctors were able to save the eye and Staal returned to play this season.

Trent McCleary’s Throat Fracture

One of the coolest/craziest things about hockey players is the way they throw their bodies before 90 MPH slap shots. The way they throw caution to the wind and lay out is downright awe-inspiring: everyone respects a player willing to put life and limb on the line to win. At the same time, these are extremely hard hit pucks, which could severely damage the diving person. And that is what happened when Montreal Canadiens’ right winger Trent McCleary took a slap shot to the throat: resulting in a fractured larynx and collapsed lung. Luckily the on-scene medics were able to open his airwave, which ultimately saved his life. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained would end his career, with McCleary announcing his retirement on September 20, 2000.

Richard Zednick’s Throat Cut

The final two slots are reserved for the two most gruesome injuries ever seen in the NHL. In a 2008 game between the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers, a freak accident resulted in a scary injury to Richard Zednick. While playing in the third period, Panther Olli Jokinen accidently slashed his teammate’s throat after tripping over Sabres Clarke MacArthur. Despite being cut in the external carotid artery, he was able to skate to the Panthers bench where he was treated and rushed to the hospital. But the resulting trail of blood to the bench is probably one of the more unforgettable images ever to be seen in the NHL.

Clint Malarchuk’s Throat Cut

The granddaddy to all horrific hockey injuries, the Clint Malarchuk throat cut is by far the scariest thing I have ever seen. Obviously, a lot of us at uSports have only seen this through replays, but the moment where the surrounding players are aware of his injury is by far the most chilling scene ever seen in professional sports. The injury happened during a 1989 season game between the St. Louis Blues and Malarchuk’s Buffalo Sabres: where a breakaway collision resulted in Steve Tuttle’s skate hitting Clint’s throat, severing his carotid artery. If anyone wants to learn more about this incident, we highly recommend the 30 for 30 short Cutthroat, which documents the goalies’ “remarkable physical, mental and emotional recovery.”

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