Oilers defenseman Fedun suffers broken leg

Edmonton defenseman Taylor Fedun broke his right leg Friday when
he crashed into the end boards during the second period at
Minnesota on Friday night on a play that left several Oilers
players questioning why the NHL hasn’t adopted no-touch icing.

Fedun and the Wild’s Eric Nystrom were chasing after a puck near
the end boards when Nystrom reached around Fedun with his stick in
an attempt to touch the puck and avoid an icing call.

Video replays showed Fedun’s skate getting tangled up with a
stick. Fedun crashed hard into the end boards and play was
immediately stopped. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher, was
hospitalized and did not make the trip back to Edmonton with the
Oilers.

Oilers coach Tom Renney described the injury as a ”complex
fracture.”

”If you’re going to give majors and whatnot to guys who carry
their sticks high and don’t control their sticks at head level, on
an icing play like that, when you have your stick in someone’s
feet, regardless of whether you’re going for the puck or not,
that’s a very, very dangerous play,” Renny said. ”The young fella
probably lost his season because of it and who knows beyond
that.”

In the NHL – unlike most other levels of hockey – the defensive
team has to touch the puck on an icing play. That allows offensive
players a chance to beat the defense to the puck, keep the play
alive and avoid the icing call.

”I think he ended up a stick in his skate there and basically
it caused him to lose his balance at a fast speed and go into the
boards wrong,” Edmonton’s Darcy Hordichuk said. ”It’s something
that you don’t want to see it happen to anyone.

”I’m sure it’s something that (NHL disciplinarian Brendan)
Shanahan is going to address the situtation and figure out if
they’re not going to get rid of the rule with no-touch icing,
they’ve got to do something about the guys coming in there
recklessly.”

Theo Peckham immediately went at Nystrom after the incident, but
pulled back after hearing Fedun screaming in pain. Fedun, an
Edmonton native, signed with the Oilers last spring after
completing a collegiate career at Princeton.

”As soon as you hear that, you try to get out of the way and
let the paramedics do their job,” Peckham said.

He also questioned why the NHL doesn’t adopt no-touch icing.

”You maybe get a scoring chance one out of every 15 games
because of it,” Peckham said. ”How many more guys are going to
have to go down with ankles and legs before the league decides to
do something about it.”

Renny would not discuss the NHL’s icing rules.

Nystrom, given a 5-minute major penalty for boarding and a game
misconduct, was still upset after the game.

”I feel awful,” Nystrom said. ”He was really hurt and I had
obviously no intention of ever, ever doing anything like that. I
was just racing for an icing and that’s one of those freak things
that happens in those situations and it’s why people always say
that rule (should be changed to no-touch icing). If I didn’t think
I had a legit chance at the puck I would have never raced in there
but I just thought I had a good jump and I could maybe get in
there. … I feel terrible. So bad right now.”

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo acknowledged that Nystrom could be
suspended.

”I do know that Ny was 100 percent not trying to do anything
dirty there,” Yeo said. ”We looked at the replay a lot of times
and he’s really trying to reach in. The puck is there and he’s
trying to make a reach at the puck. It’s a really unfortunate
situation. You definitely don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I
know probably nobody feels worse than Ny right now. He’s not that
kind of guy but we’ll wait to see what happens there.”