Eric Staal injured at World Championships
Posted May 16, 2013
Updated May 17, 2013
One of the biggest fears for an NHL franchise when its players participate in international play is an injury.
For the Carolina Hurricanes, that nightmare became reality when captain Eric Staal suffered what looked like a terrible right knee injury in the first period Thursday while playing for Team Canada.
The injury occurred when Sweden’s Alex Edler delivered a knee-to-knee hit on Staal. The Hurricanes captain was in visible pain from the hit and had to be helped off the ice, putting no pressure on his right leg.
The teams were playing in the quarterfinal round at the IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.
Canes General Manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Thursday that Staal is undergoing an MRI. No further information has been released, but the organization expects the results to be determined sometime tomorrow.
The play seemed avoidable from Edler’s perspective, as there was plenty of room for the defenseman, who plays for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, to avoid the Hurricanes captain. Edler was given a 5-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
The IIHF on Friday suspended Edler for the remainder of the World Championships. A disciplinary panel said Edler's actions were reckless, dangerous and disregarded Staal's vulnerability.
Staal has four more years left on his contract with the Hurricanes that pays him $8.25 million annually. He led the team this past season with 53 points after notching a team-best 35 assists.
NHL players will also have a chance to represent their countries in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia this year, provided their franchises allow.