Updates from Friday, March 21
Chris Johnston of Rodgers Sportsnet has the latest on Ranger:
Paul Ranger says he was in shock after getting hit by Alex Killorn. "My body and my mind just went into preservation mode."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 21, 2014
David Alter of 590 AM The Fan has more on the defenseman:
Paul Ranger says the whole ordeal was "scary" thankful for the quick response to the incident. Is day-to-day w/ stiff neck— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) March 21, 2014
Updates from Thursday, March 20
Darren Dreger of TSN has the latest on Ranger's status:
Paul Ranger returned to ACC after a quick check up in hospital last night. Good sign.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 20, 2014
Meanwhile, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that Lightning center Alex Killorn won't face more punishment from the league
No NHL supplementary discipline for TB's Alex Killorn on his hit last night on TOR's Paul Ranger.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 20, 2014
David Pagnotta of TheFourthPeriod.com has more on Ranger's status:
Leafs announce that Paul Ranger was assessed and discharged from hospital Wednesday evening. Good sign.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) March 20, 2014
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger exited Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning after he was checked hard into the boards in the first period.
It was initially unclear exactly what type of injury Ranger sustained from the hit laid on by Lightning center Alex Killorn, but David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail reported that Ranger was wheeled off on a stretcher:
Ranger immobilized, on stretcher and wheeled off. Was lying on his stomach, moving his legs after hit, placed on his back on the stretcher.— David Shoalts (@dshoalts) March 19, 2014
The team's PR account later provided an update:
Paul Ranger was taken to local hospital for precautionary assessment this evening during tonight's game. He is stable, conscious and alert.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) March 20, 2014
Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos added an update:
Good news regarding #Leafs D man Ranger. Early indication is he could be released from Toronto hospital as early as tonite.— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) March 20, 2014
CBS Sports' Eye on Hockey provided video of the disturbing development that saw Ranger lie motionless on the Air Canada Centre ice afterwards, per CBSSports.com's Brian Stubits (Warning: Video may not be suitable for all viewers):
Tony Monaco of 103.5 Toronto didn't believe there was anything particularly malicious about the hit, yet he did express concern about the end result of the collision:
Body Checking and Contact is apart of the game but that hit was scary. Hopefully Paul Ranger will be ok and not serious. @mapleleafs— Tony Monaco (@TonyMonaco) March 20, 2014
Hockey is such a physical and tough sport, and in the NHL the impact of heavy hits are exacerbated. However, this was a bit of an extreme lick from Killorn in a situation that didn't warrant such a brutal, violent thrust forward.
Ranger actually played in Tampa Bay for a little over four seasons before taking a hiatus from professional hockey after playing just eight games in the 2009-10 campaign.
This is his first year back in the NHL, and Ranger has been a solid contributor for the Maple Leafs, notching four goals and eight assists for 12 points. Toronto is in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, so losing any core contributors for extended time at this point would be difficult to endure.
But in a situation like this, team circumstances have to be put aside and the personal safety of Ranger has to be the main focus. It was a dangerous collision that could have severe consequences. The hope is that Ranger makes a quick and speedy recovery and that he can continue his impressive return to hockey in Toronto.