Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian was injured Thursday night in a scary incident that saw his head hit the ice.
It happened late in the Oilers 3-2 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks when Kassian and opposing forward Zack MacEwen got into a fight.
Kassian landed the first punch or two and MacEwen countered with a punch or two of his own. Kassian’s helmet came off in the scrap and as the pair fell to the ice, Kassian’s head appeared to hit the ice.
Motionless he lay as the Edmonton Oilers training staff came to his aid, MacEwen and the referees waived to the bench for help. Surrounded by teammates that included Duncan Keith, Warren Foegele and others, Kassian was able to skate off the ice under his own power.
After the game, Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said Kassian was in good spirits.
“He got a pretty good bump on his head from hitting the ice, but he was in good spirits,” said Tippett. “He was joking and telling jokes when I came and saw him after the game. He banged his head on the ice pretty good.
“It’s one of those ones that upsets you. You never want to see it happen. It’s a freak thing his helmet comes off, and he falls the wrong way. Lucky, it seems like he’s alright in there. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Teammate Derek Ryan, meanwhile, said it was hard to see.
“It was really tough. I’m a new face around here, but Kass and I have bonded — he’s like my brother sitting next to me in the locker room,” he said. “To see him sitting like that on the ice, yeah, it makes me sick to my stomach.”
Similar sentiments were shared in the Canucks room, too.
“It’s scary, it’s terrible, it’s not cool,” says Quinn Hughes of Zack Kassian’s injury. “It probably didn’t need to happen.” #Canucks
— David Quadrelli (@QuadreIli) October 8, 2021
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]