Maple Leafs' John Tavares Hospitalized with Injury After Taking Knee to Head

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2021

Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Thursday, April 15, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Peter Power)
Peter Power/Associated Press

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher during Thursday's Game 1 matchup against the Montreal Canadiens after he took a knee to the head.

Andi Petrillo @AndiPetrillo

The silence is deafening. Tavares accidentally kneed in the head by Perry while falling down. He’s trying to get up on his own...but he shouldn’t. He really shouldn’t. He can’t. Being taken off by stretcher now. He’s in good hands. Everyone is rattled.

Joshua Clipperton @JClipperton_CP

John Tavares gives a thumbs up as he's stretchered off the ice. #Leafs

The Maple Leafs later announced Tavares had been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Elliotte Friedman @FriedgeHNIC

Sheldon Keefe says John Tavares is conscious and communicating well...will remain in hospital overnight. Tests have come back "clear."

The 30-year-old center tallied 19 goals with 31 assists in 56 games this season, following up a 2019-20 campaign that saw him post 60 points. He had a career-high 47 goals in his first year in Toronto (2018-19), including an NHL-best 37 from even strength.

If Tavares misses time, Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander will need to carry the offense for the Maple Leafs, who lost 2-1 Thursday and next play Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.