On March 7, 2010, the Boston Bruins' Marc Savard suffered a Grade 2 concussion in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after taking a hit to the head from the Penguins' Matt Cooke. Cooke was not penalized by the play and escaped any discipine from the league. But the concussion had a lasting effect on Savard. He returned to play in the postseason for the Bruins, scoring a game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Bruins' second-round series against the Flyers. But after being limited to 25 games in 2010-11, Savard received a second concussion on Feb. 8, 2011 and was shut down for the season.
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty
The Montreal forward suffered a serious concussion and fractured vertebra on March 8, 2011 after he was hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Pacioretty was skating at full speed along the boards in pursuit of the puck, when Chara steered him into a glass partition near the Habs' bench. Pacioretty laid motionless on the ice for several minutes, and his eyes were closed as he was taken off on a stretcher.
Richard Zednik's sliced neck
On Feb. 10, 2008, in Buffalo, Richard Zednik's Florida Panthers teammate Olli Jokinen, while tripping over the leg of Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur, cut Zedník's external carotid artery with his right skate blade. Zedník immediately skated to the Florida bench, leaving a trail of blood on the ice. Zednik's injury required emergency surgery. Doctors said he lost five units of blood, but because of the way the artery was cut, it was not life-threatening. Zednik missed the rest of the season, but he still plays today in Europe.
Kris Draper's face smash
On May 29, 1996, during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Draper was checked from behind into the boards at the end of the players' bench by Colorado Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux. Draper went face-first into the top edge of the boards, causing him to suffer a broken jaw, broken nose, broken cheekbone and a concussion. When the Wings and Avalanche met again the following season on March 26, 1997, the teams set off a massive brawl known as the "Brawl in Hockeytown" forever after. Draper, now 39, still plays for the Red Wings.
Mark Howe's goal collision
While playing with the Hartford Whalers in 1982, Mark Howe slid into the pointed metal center of a goal and cut a five-inch gash in his upper thigh. He was essentially impaled by the metal piece of the goal. The injury nearly ended his career and prompted the NHL to change the design of its nets so that there would no longer be a center portion that jutted up toward the goal line. The Whalers, feeling Howe was damaged goods after his injury, would later trade him to Philadelphia where he became a Norris Trophy-winning defenseman.
Trent McCleary's career-ending throat injury
During a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 29, 2000, Montreal's Trent McCleary dropped to the ice in an attempt to block a slapshot from the Flyers' Chris Therien. He was critically injured when the shot hit him in the throat, which fractured his larynx and resulted in a collapsed lung. Unable to breathe, McCleary rushed to the bench, collapsing upon his arrival. Medical staff worked to partially open his airway in the hallways of Molson Centre, actions which McCleary credits with saving his life. Later at a Montreal hospital, doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy with McCleary still wearing his full hockey equipment and skates to save time. McCleary, unable to talk, missed the rest of the season. He regained the ability to talk after six weeks and several surgeries and attempted a comeback the following season, but found he was too short of breath to continue playing.
Clint Malarchuk's severed vein
On March 22, 1989, Steve Tuttle of the St. Louis Blues and Uwe Krupp of the Buffalo Sabres became entangled while chasing the puck and crashed into Malarchuk while minding the Buffalo goal. Tuttle's skate caught Malarchuk on the neck, severing his internal jugular vein. As his blood poured onto the ice, Malarchuk left the ice on his own feet with the assistance of Sabres trainer Jim Pizzutelli. Fans in the arena were sickened by the sight of the blood. Television coverage cut away from the red ice. Malarchuk thought he was going to die.
But Pizzutelli, who had served as an Army medic in Vietnam, reached into Malarchuk's neck and pinched off the bleeding, not letting go until doctors arrived to begin attending to the wound. Had he not done that, many believe Malarchuk would have become the second NHL player to die from on-ice injuries.
Malarchuk spent one night in the hospital and returned to practice four days later. A week later, he was back in goal against the Quebec Nordiques.
Gordie Howe's fractured skull
Mr. hockey would go on to set numerous long-standing NHL records, but it almost never happened. Early in his playing days, Howe sustained the worst injury of his career, fracturing his skull in a collision with Toronto Maple Leafs captain Ted Kennedy along the boards during the 1950 playoffs. The fracture was so severe that he was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery in order to relieve building pressure on his brain. Of course, we know it didn't stop him from becoming the NHL's all-time leading scorer (before Wayne Gretzky dethroned him) and playing in parts of five different decades.
Howie Morenz dies after breaking his leg
Montreal Canadiens center Howie Morenz played the final game of his 14-year career on Jan. 28, 1937 against Chicago. During the game, Morenz lost his balance and fell to the ice, crashing into the boards and catching his left skate in the wooden siding around the rink. Chicago defenseman was chasing Morenz at the time and couldn't stop himself from crashing into the fallen player. The resulting collision snapped Morenz' left leg, creating a noise reportedly heard throughout the Forum in Montreal. His leg was fractured in four places. As Morenz recuperated in the hospital, the Canadiens fell in the standings without him. This caused Morenz to slip into a depression and suffer a nervous breakdown. On March 8, Morenz died of a heart attack at age 34.
Ace Bailey's career-ending injury
Irvine "Ace" Bailey's career came to an abrupt end on Dec. 12, 1933, when he was hit from behind by Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins. Bailey's head hit the ice, fracturing his skull. While it was feared Bailey would not survive, he did recover, but never played hockey again.
Bill Masterton's death
On Jan. 13, 1968, early in a game against the Oakland Seals, Minnesota North Stars center Bill Masterton was carrying the puck into the Seals' zone. Shortly after completing a pass to teammate Wayne Connelly, Masterton was checked by the Seals' Larry Cahan and Ron Harris, forcing him to fall backward onto the ice head-first. The force of the collision between his head and the ice caused blood to gush from his mouth and nose. He suffered a brain injury so severe doctors couldn't operate on him, and he died 48 hours later. Masterton is the only player to die from injuries suffered on the ice in an NHL game. The NHL awards the Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy yearly to the player who most shows qualities of perseverance and sportsmanship.
Eric Lindros dropped by Scott Stevens
Eric Lindros stormy career with the Philadelphia Flyers was plagued with concussions. The most notable of them came during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2000. The New Jersey Devils' Scott Stevens saw Lindros skating with his head down and leveled the Flyers center with a devastating check. Stevens had to be consoled by coaches after seeing how hard he hit Lindros. The Devils went on to win the game and Lindros never again skated for the Flyers.
Bryan Berard's eye injury
On March 11, 2000, while Berard was playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the stick of then-Ottawa Senators winger Marian Hossa clipped Berard in the right eye, severely injuring it. During the next season, he underwent seven eye operations which were only able to bring his vision to 20/600, which is considered to be legally blind. But contact lenses gave him 20/400 vision, the NHL's league minimum. The former first-overall pick in 1995 ended up playing in the NHL until 2008.