BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik required lifesaving surgery after severing his carotid artery, his agent told The Associated Press on Monday.
Zednik was in stable condition while recovering at a Buffalo hospital after losing a significant amount of blood during Sunday's game at Buffalo, agent David Schatia said. Schatia didn't have further details because he had just arrived in Montreal following a trip oversees.
Zednik was sliced across the right side of the throat by teammate Olli Jokinen's skate in a frightening accident midway through the third period of Buffalo's 5-3 victory.
Canada's Sportsnet cable-TV network reported on its Web site that the skate blade just missed cutting the jugular vein.
The Panthers returned home to South Florida following the game. They did not have an immediate update on the player's condition or details of the severity of the injury.
Zednik was circling the net behind the play and skating into the corner just when Jokinen was upended by Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur. Jokinen fell headfirst to the ice, and his right leg and skate flew up and struck Zednik directly on the side of the neck.
Clutching his neck, Zednik left a trail of blood as he somehow had the capacity to race three-quarters the length of the ice to the Panthers bench. He nearly fell into the arms of trainer Dave Zenobi, who immediately placed a towel on the player's throat. With the help of defenseman Jassen Cullimore, Zednik was escorted up the tunnel behind the bench and loaded into an ambulance.
The Panthers made arrangements to have Zednik's wife, Jessica, fly from South Florida to Buffalo by a charter flight Sunday night. Zenobi and assistant general manager Randy Sexton also stayed behind to be with Zednik, the Panthers said.