Richard Zedník

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Richard Zedník
Richard Zednik 2009.jpg
Born (1976-01-06) January 6, 1976 (age 41)
Banská Bystrica,
Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders
Florida Panthers
KHL
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
SEL
AIK
National team  Slovakia
NHL Draft 249th overall, 1994
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1996–2011

Richard Zedník (born January 6, 1976) is a retired Slovak professional ice hockey winger. He has played in the National Hockey League for the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, and Florida Panthers.

He is known for sustaining and surviving a life-threatening injury during a February 2008 NHL game when the skate of his teammate Olli Jokinen accidentally sliced his common carotid artery.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Zedník was drafted in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, in the tenth round, 249th overall, after playing junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Zedník scored 35 goals in his rookie year with the Winter Hawks during the 1994–95 season. In his second year with the major junior team, he scored 44 goals which earned him Second Team All-Star honours. Zedník made his professional debut at the end of the 1995–96 season playing in a single game with the Capitals before joining minor league affiliate, the Portland Pirates, for their Calder Cup finals playoff run. Zedník made the Capitals' roster out of training camp in 1996 and scored his first career NHL goal in the season opener on October 5 against Ed Belfour of the Chicago Blackhawks.[2] After one goal in nine games, Zedník was sent down to Portland before being recalled briefly in March 1997.

Zedník played his first full NHL season in 1997–98, playing in 65 games with the Capitals and recording 17 goals.

On October 31, 2000, a local Washington, D.C. radio station, DC101, had a promotion in which they offered fans a free ticket and Zedník jersey if they dyed their hair blond as Zedník had in the off-season. It was Zedník's first game off of a suspension. Two-hundred "Zed Heads" attended the game at which Zedník scored his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings, who had not lost in Washington in ten years.[3]

After spending six seasons with the Capitals, Zedník was traded during the 2000–01 season, along with Jan Bulis and a first round draft pick (Alexander Perezhogin), to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Trevor Linden, Dainius Zubrus, and a second round draft pick (later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning) on March 13, 2001.

On April 26, 2002, during a playoff game in Montreal against the Boston Bruins, Zedník was elbowed in the face by Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren. Zedník suffered a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, and a concussion. Despite the Canadiens losing the game 5-2, and Zedník for the remainder of the playoffs, they would win the series 4-2.

After playing the next three years in Montreal, Zedník was traded back to the Capitals on July 12, 2006 for a third round draft-pick. Zedník's second stint back with the Capitals was short as he was dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Islanders for a second round draft pick on February 26, 2007.

At the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, Zedník, a free agent, signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2007.[4]

On April 30, 2009, Zedník was announced as a Masterton Trophy finalist for the 2008–09 season.[5][6] His nomination coincided with an official announcement that Zedník signed to play for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for the 2009–10 season.[7] Zedník's contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslaval was terminated "by mutual agreement" in the summer of 2010.[citation needed]

Zedník then played two games with HC 05 Banská Bystrica of the Slovak Extraliga. On January 10, 2011, Zedník signed a contract with AIK IF, which expired after the 2010–11 Elitserien season.

Neck injury[edit]

On February 10, 2008, in a game where Zedník's Florida Panthers were playing the Buffalo Sabres, Zedník suffered a severe and potentially life-threatening injury. Teammate Olli Jokinen got tangled up with Sabre Clarke MacArthur and lost his balance in front of Zedník. As Jokinen fell, Zedník was skating past and his skate blade accidentally clipped Zedník's neck, slicing his common carotid artery open and causing it to spray a trail of blood onto the ice as Zedník reacted quickly and skated to the Panthers' bench. He was immediately attended to by Florida trainer Dave Zenobi who took him to the locker room for treatment. Paramedics, who are on standby at every NHL game, stabilized Zedník while the home team doctor Les Bisson controlled the bleeding. Bisson noted that Zedník appeared to be in shock but was not near death, as he was alert and responsive.[1] Zedník was transported to hospital on emergency run, his status being published as stable after leaving the arena.[8] The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the zamboni was needed to help clean the blood from the ice. The announcement over the public address speakers at HSBC Arena that Zedník was in stable condition and en route to a Buffalo hospital sparked a prolonged standing ovation from the Buffalo fans as the game resumed.

Emergency surgery was performed to repair the artery, but according to doctors at Buffalo General Hospital, Zedník's life was not in jeopardy. The artery was not severed; had it been, it would have recessed into the neck, requiring more extensive surgery to repair.[1][9][10] Zedník was stable in the Intensive Care Unit through February 12 and released from hospital on February 16, but missed the rest of the season recovering from the injury. He received a lot of support for his injury by fans and fellow hockey players alike.

Zedník watched the video replay of his injury and said "once is enough". He said the extent of the injury was immediately obvious to him, as it felt like being stabbed.[11]

He returned to play in the 2008–09 season.

Zedník's injury was reminiscent of a similar injury suffered by Clint Malarchuk, a goalie for the Buffalo Sabres in 1989. The injuries both prompted discussion about neck guards and player safety in the National Hockey League. At present, team doctors (practitioners of sports medicine) are trained in trauma care and are required to be seated behind the home team bench at every game.

Personal life[edit]

Zedník married French-Canadian actress Jessica Welch in 2005. They divorced in 2009 and have one daughter.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Portland Winterhawks WHL 65 35 51 86 89 9 5 5 10 20
1995–96 Portland Winterhawks WHL 61 44 37 81 154 7 8 4 12 23
1995–96 Portland Pirates AHL 1 1 1 2 0 21 4 5 9 26
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Portland Pirates AHL 56 15 20 35 70 5 1 0 1 6
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 11 2 1 3 4
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 65 17 9 26 28 17 7 3 10 16
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 49 9 8 17 50
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 69 19 16 35 54 5 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 62 16 19 35 61
2000–01 Montreal Canadiens NHL 12 3 6 9 10
2001–02 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 22 22 44 59 4 4 4 8 6
2002–03 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 31 19 50 79
2003–04 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 26 24 50 63 11 3 3 6 2
2004–05 HKm Zvolen SVK 36 15 19 34 56 17 9 10 19 12
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 16 14 30 48 6 2 0 2 4
2006–07 Washington Capitals NHL 32 6 12 18 16
2006–07 New York Islanders NHL 10 1 2 3 2 5 0 0 0 8
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 54 15 11 26 43
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 70 17 16 33 46
2009–10 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 37 6 12 18 56 17 3 5 8 22
2010–11 AIK IF SEL 18 2 3 5 12
NHL totals 745 200 179 379 563 48 16 10 26 41

International play[edit]

Played for Slovakia in:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bisson, Sanders, Noor, Curl and McCormack. Common Carotid Artery Laceration in a Professional Hockey Player. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Chicago, 25 June 2009. Retrieved on 27 June 2017
  2. ^ http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/199610050WSH.html
  3. ^ Red Wings vs. Capitals
  4. ^ "Richard Zednik inks two-year deal with Panthers". panthers.nhl.com. July 1, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Chelios, Sullivan, Zednik nominated for Bill Masterton Trophy". NHL.com. April 30, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Masterton finalists meet criteria". NHL.com. April 30, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Masterton finalist Zednik signs two-year deal with Russian club". cbssports.com. April 30, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Panthers' Zednik takes skate cut to neck". TSN. February 10, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Life-saving surgery needed". Rogers Sportsnet. February 11, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Zednik stable after carotid artery severed in Panthers-Sabres game". ESPN. February 11, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  11. ^ YouTube - Richard Zednik Press Conference - 21 Feb 2008
  12. ^ http://www.litterboxcats.com/2009/9/4/1015836/former-panther-richard-zedniks[dead link]

External links[edit]