The International Ice Hockey Federation disciplinary panel Friday ruled Swedish defenseman Alexander Edler would be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 World Championship for his knee-on-knee hit against Canada captain Eric Staal.
The infraction occurred Thursday with 4:14 remaining in the first period of Canada's eventual 3-2 shootout loss to Sweden in the quarterfinal round when Edler collided with Staal in the Sweden zone. Staal had just taken a shot and was attempting to backhand the rebound from the left circle when he was hit by the Vancouver Canucks defenseman.
Staal, captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, immediately fell to the ice and began writhing in pain holding his right knee.
Edler was given a five-minute major and game misconduct on the hit. The disciplinary panel Friday said Edler's action was "reckless, dangerous and was in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent. For that, he must be held accountable."
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer that Staal would return to Raleigh on Friday and undergo an MRI on Saturday.
"It's unfortunate and hopefully it's not too serious," Rutherford told the paper. "If it is serious, hopefully there will be enough recovery time for him to be ready for next season. We'll just hope for the best."
Edler will miss his team's semifinal-round match against Finland on Saturday. If the team advances to Sunday's gold-medal game, he would be ineligible to participate. In the other semifinal on Saturday, the United States will face off against Switzerland.
Any additional suspension, exceeding the duration of the tournament, will be handled by the disciplinary panel to the IIHF Disciplinary Committee.
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