In the last game of a dismal season for the Vancouver Canucks, things took a bad turn of the worst possible kind Sunday night. Canucks star Daniel Sedin was taken off the ice on a stretcher after being on the receiving end of an awkward hit from Paul Byron.
Here's a GIF of the hit in question via @myregularface:
Sedin's head made contact with the boards after the hit from Byron and he immediately went to the ice. He laid motionless where he fell for some time and had his head immobilized by an athletic trainer right away. He was placed on a back board, with his neck in a brace.
Sedin appeared alert and was talking to the medical staff that surrounded him and appeared to be moving his extremities at different points, but it was an awfully scary scene.
Hopefully the stretcher was more for precaution than anything else, but it certainly did not look good. Initial reports from Sportsnet's broadcast on Sedin's condition were positive, however.
Byron was given a five-minute major for charging and game misconduct. The hit was definitely from behind, but did not seem to be with much force. That didn't stop Sedin from contacting the boards rather awkwardly as he may have been off balance.
It definitely wasn't charging, but boarding would have been a fair call in that situation. Either way, Byron should not have been making contact with Sedin with his numbers out there. No matter how hard the shove, when an opponent's back is facing out near the boards, that is a vulnerable player.
Henrik Sedin also briefly left the game after brother Daniel was taken out on the stretcher, but returned for the third period.
According to the Sportsnet broadcast, Daniel Sedin was being observed by doctors in the stadium shortly after being taken off the ice, but was later transported to a local hospital.
The Canucks shared the latest update later Sunday night:
Daniel Sedin was taken in stable condition to VGH. He will undergo further evaluation and imaging.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 14, 2014
Daniel exhibited signs of movement to his extremities and showed improvement from initially being hit.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 14, 2014
No assessment will be made until completion of his evaluation.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 14, 2014