There was a scary sight during the second period of Monday’s battle between the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center, when newly acquired Devil Anssi Salmela was knocked out cold by a hit from Flyers’ forward Jeff Carter.
Salmela carried the puck into the Flyers’ zone and cut into the slot just above the crease. With his head down and body leaning forward, he was met heavily by a trailing Carter. Carter’s shoulder sent the 25-year old spinning into the air, only to land face first on the ice. The contact knocked him out cold. Salmela managed to score on the play but laid motionless for minutes, while trainers did neck tests and had a stretcher take him off the ice.
According to Salmela’s agent Jay Grossman, Salmela broke his nose and lost multiple teeth, but did not need hospital treatment.
Without a reputation for being dirty, along with his elbow down, skates on the ice and in proper time, Carter should not see a fine or suspension. Although the league disciplinary office will review the play as a headshot. Carter did not receive a penalty on the play.
Judge for yourself. Video courtesy of http://www.hockey-fights.com