The NHL league office may be having a word with Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba after a hit on Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller left the young star bloodied on the ice in the teams' Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.
UPDATE: Friday, May 3, at 4:00 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland
Gryba's hearing is over, and the Senators player has been suspended 2 games by the league, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Two game suspension for OTT's Eric Gryba.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 3, 2013
UPDATE: Friday, May 3, at 12:59 a.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to the official Twitter account for NHL Player Safety, Gryba will face a hearing on Friday:
Eric Gryba of the Ottawa Senators will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Friday.— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) May 3, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Thursday, May 2, at 10:56 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford
According to LNH.com's Arpon Basu, Eller suffered a concussion, facial fractures and dental fractures from the collision with Gryba:
#Habs announce Eller got a concussion with loss of consciousness as well as facial and dental fractures.— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) May 3, 2013
---End of update---
Attempting to take a pass at the blue line, Eller was struck high and hard by Gryba. The Canadiens center lied motionless on the ice for many minutes, bloodied by the impact of the hit. He was tended to by trainers.
(Warning: The video below is not for the squeamish.)
Eller was then carted off on a stretcher, and the game continued after a delay to clean up the ice. RDS' Renaud Lavoie then reported that Eller then left the arena in an ambulance, headed to the local hospital for evaluation.
The Canadiens' Twitter feed has released a statement saying Eller is "conscious and alert" and that he will remain in the hospital for observation:
(1/2) Lars Eller suffered head and facial injury. He is conscious and alert.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) May 3, 2013
(2/2) Eller has been taken to the hospital for further examination and will remain under observation.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) May 3, 2013
Gryba was assessed a five-minute penalty for interference and received a game misconduct for the hit. Though it's unclear whether or not he will be suspended or face any punishment from the league, his ejection was based on the NHL's increased emphasis on blows to the head.
Eller, who will turn 24 years old on May 8, is considered one of the Canadiens' most promising young talents. A first-round pick by St. Louis back in 2007, Eller's 2012-13 season was indicative of the skills he has as an offensive center.
He scored 30 points during the regular season, which was tied for fourth on the team with Andrei Markov. Showing an increasing ability to find teammates in the open ice, Eller also set a career-high with 22 assists.
His creativity was expected to play a huge role for the second-seeded Canadiens, who came into Thursday night as a heavy favorite over Ottawa. Game 1 was supposed to be a battle for Canadian supremacy.
But following such an unfortunate injury, our thoughts are first and foremost with Eller's health and recovery.