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The 15 Most Brutal Hockey Injuries of All Time

Updated November 7, 2018 49.4k views15 items

Hockey is a pretty vicious sport, as just about any player can attest. But sometimes hockey gets a little rougher than it should, and we're not just talking about fights. Hockey injuries can be so bad that they make you feel sick to your stomach and completely forget it's all just a game. So, what are some of the worst hockey injuries ever? Is it a fractured skull? A slit throat? Luckily, for you morbid hockey fans out there, this is a collection a whole lot of them, and for some, there's even video to back it up.

While there haven't been many hockey deaths in the NHL or international leagues, that doesn't stop many of these nasty injuries from being horribly gruesome. After all, skate blades, sticks, massive men skating at up to 30 mph... what could possibly go wrong?

As a warning, hockey is generally not for the faint of heart and this is also not for the weak of stomach. There's blood, much of it happens live, and the carnage is discussed in detail. If you're not up for some high-impact gory stuff, this article might not be for you. Might we suggest golf?

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  • Börje Salming Has His Face Stepped On

    Börje Salming Has His Face Stepped On
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    We all know that skates are sharp, but few can tell you that better than Börje Salming. In a 1986 game, Salming, of the Toronto Maple Leafs, fell on the ice during a scuffle, and a player accidentally stepped on him. This doesn't sound too bad until you realize the player stepped down with his full weight, on his skate-clad foot, directly into the middle of Salming's face. The injury was deep and required over 200 stitches in order to be fixed.

    A teammate remarked that he looked like the side of a softball after a game. However, Salming recovered from the injury, went on to have an award-filled career, and even earned a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

  • Sami Salo Shatters a Testicle

    Sami Salo Shatters a Testicle
    Video: YouTube

    Sometimes you gotta take one for the team. With seconds ticking down in the first period of a 2010 playoff game, Canucks player Sami Salo stepped in front of a shot, trying to block it from going into his net. He succeeded, but at quite a price. The slapshot hit him traveling at an incredibly high speed and, despite his wearing a cup, Salo caught all the force in his testicles. One of them ruptured upon being hit, and Salo dropped to the ice in obvious agony.

    Surgery was necessary to repair the testicle. Everyone, including the opponent who took the shot, probably felt more empathy than usual for this particular hockey injury. 

  • Ladislav Nagy Has His Throat Cut, Still Makes a Line Change

    Ladislav Nagy Has His Throat Cut, Still Makes a Line Change
    Video: YouTube

    It's hard to say what goes through the mind of a hockey player when they get injured, but for Ladislav Nagy, we at least know his head was still in the game. When an opposing player fell awkwardly during a Continental Hockey League game in 2015, the skate came up and caught Nagy in the throat. He reacted right away... by skating to the bench to make sure he could get a line change, so his teammates wouldn't be short-handed.

    No stopping the game. No calling for a whistle. He skates to the bench then sits there for a moment, bleeding profusely, before a trainer approaches him to let him know that they need to do something about this right now. The injury was not deadly and Nagy recovered.

  • Jeremy Roenick Jiggles His Shattered Jaw

    Jeremy Roenick Jiggles His Shattered Jaw
    Video: YouTube

    Before you watch this video, take a deep breath or two first. During a 1999 game with the Coyotes, Stars player Jeremy Roenick went face-first into the boards against an opponent. The hit completely shattered his jaw in three places. As he stands up, you can see him take a moment to push the pieces of his jaw back into place with his hand. It's not subtle. Shockingly enough, Roenick went off to the locker room, had the medical staff wire his jaw shut and in place, and then actually finished playing the game.

    Don't let anyone ever tell you hockey players aren't tough.