The National Hockey League is the best ice hockey league in the world. Consisting of 7 teams from Canada and 23 teams from the United States, all 30 teams battle it out each year for the most coveted trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup. The league began in 1917 in Canada and the "Nation" referred to in NHL was Canada, though since 1924 the league has been a two-nation affair.
The NHL attracts players from around the globe, with the greatest population coming from Canada, the United States and Europe. People from all over the world love to watch NHL games since they are some of the most intense, fast-paced, and entertaining sporting events available.
Every sport or profession has its own challenges, but what make them all worth it are the successes along the way. The NHL is one of the most successful leagues in North America and the world, and it has produced great teams and players known the world over. In Canada hockey is the most popular sport, while in the United States it follows Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association.
The NHL has faced many problems over the years, including player lockouts, strikes, and serious injuries. The injuries on the ice usually get very ugly, with most of them threatening the careers of the players involved. The sharp skating blades, the hockey sticks, the hard ice, and the high speeds with limited friction sure sound like a recipe for a serious injury, though having professional players on the hockey rink makes a lot of difference. Here are the most shocking on-ice injuries that have almost ended careers in the NHL.
10 Zach Redmond Sliced Leg
9 Kevin Klein Blocks Shot With His Arm
8 Steven Stamkos Broken leg
7 Stephane Robidas Broken Leg
6 Erik Karlsson Sliced Achilles Tendon
5 Max Pacioretty Broken Vertebrae
4 Greg Campbell Broken Leg
3 Nicklas Lidstrom Testicular Surgery
2 Marc Staal - Fractured Orbital Bone
1 Joni Pitkanen Broken Heel
Defenseman Joni Pitkanen is from Finland and began playing in the NHL in 2002 with the Philadelphia Fliers. Joni was one of the best players during his time in any of the teams he played for, until the day he suffered a career threatening injury. During the 2012-2013 season, Pitkanen was racing with Troy Brouwer for an icing call, and unable to stop in time he went crashing into the boards and broke his calcaneus (heel) bone. This accident was so bad that he had to sit out of the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons, and thereafter become an unrestricted free agent. He is still recovering from that injury. The NHL has since changed their icing rules to avoid similar injuries occurring.
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