It's not the best quality video, but this hit on the Mitch Wahl was perhaps the scariest moment of Saturday's game between the Manitoba Moose and Abbotsford Heat. Wahl comes across the offensive zone and takes a shot, but he spends a fraction of a second too long watching the puck. In that time, Moose forward and Canucks prospect Aaron Volpatti catches him with a devastating open-ice hit (on the right side of the screen).
Volpatti is immediately challenged by Heat defenseman Joe Piskula. Unfortunately for Piskula, Volpatti is good at fighting; preliminary observations indicate Piskula is not.
I was at this game, and the hit was a particularly scary moment. Wahl didn't move for quite some time, and was eventually stretchered off the ice. After removing him to the ambulance, the ice crew scraped away a large pool of dried blood.
The only good news was that the stretcher didn't leave the arena right away, indicating Wahl's injury wasn't as serious as it initially looked.
According to Cam Tucker's Twitter account, Heat coach Jim Playfair said today that Wahl suffered a cracked cheekbone and a cut on his eye, and may require surgery. Playfair also said the hit wasn't malicious or dirty.
But who cares about the legality of the hit? The real issue is that a guy was left motionless on the ice, bleeding from the head. Delivered within the rules or otherwise, head injuries are a do-not-want situation. It's a damn shame when something like this happens.
PITB's sentiments are with Mitch Wahl. Here's to a full recovery.