NHL Power Rankings: 10 Stupidest Injuries in NHL History
Injuries in hockey happen all the time, but what hockey players are most admired for is that they will get back on the ice hurt or not, and usually with or without teeth.
It is who they are, and why they chose a sport where fighting is encouraged.
It is why they get payed the big bucks, right?
However, once in awhile a player misses a game for one reason or another. It could be a busted wrist or broken ankle, or maybe they took a stick or puck to the face the game before.
Either way, they deserve that night off.
How about taking a couple games off to nurse your back after reaching for a cracker on the floor?
Or hurting yourself toweling in the shower?
Are those injuries just as manly and worthy of a hockey player?
Those are actual injuries by very well-known hockey players included in this list of the stupidest injuries in NHL history.
10. Marian Gaborik Injured Playing Hacky Sack
In 2008, Gaborik was playing for the Minnesota Wild.
He sustained what was called at the time as a lower body injury.
There was no word on why, just that it was a lower body injury and that he would be considered day-to-day.
A few days later, GM Doug Risebrough told a local radio station that Gaborik had actually injured his groin playing hacky sack with some players in the locker room after a game.
"I think it tightened up his legs," Risebrough said to Sid Hartman's WCCO radio show.
Yeah, it did.
9. Uwe Krupp Dog-Sledding Accident
Krupp played in 729 games in the NHL, accumulating 281 points with five different teams in his 17-year NHL career.
However, Krupp's other hobby may have caused him the most trouble.
After sustaining a back injury, while playing for the Detroit Red Wings in 1998, Krupp was held out most of the season.
During that time off, it was found that Krupp had won several dog-sledding races mushing his six Siberian huskies in Michigan.
The original back injury had never been confirmed to be from on-ice play, so it was at this point assumed that dog-sledding was the reason for Krupp missing almost the entire 1998 season.
Because he was engaged in another sport while injured, Krupp was suspended from the team while the Red Wings investigated both his original injury and his racing history while injured.
8. Joe Sakic Snowblower Injury
The headline in the Denver Post read, "Freak Snowblower Mishap Shelves Sakic."
In the winter of 2008, Sakic had decided to remove the snow from his driveway, while already being sidelined six weeks with a herniated disc.
At the end of that day in 2008, Sakic would be out three more months.
"He put his hand where he should not have put it," said Colorado Avalanche VP Jean Martineau to The Denver Post.
As a result, Sakic suffered three broken fingers and damaged ligaments in his hand.
Snowblower 1, Joe Sakic 0
7. Manny Fernandez Toweling Injury
Even in the safety of the shower, hockey players aren't safe.
In October 2005, then-Minnesota Wild goalie Manny Fernandez was toweling off in the shower and hurt his neck and back. Officially listed as having back spasms, Fernandez missed the 2005-06 season opener against the defending Western Conference champion Calgary Flames, a 6-3 Wild win at home.
Even though he only missed one game because of the injury, his place in hockey's weirdest/funniest injuries will live on forever.
6. Alex Auld "Water Bottle" Injury
According to the Sun Sentinel, eyewitnesses say that Belfour became disruptive at 3 a.m. in the hotel lobby, and his teammates tried to get him to leave.
A few minutes later, Auld had to be rushed to the hospital, where he received stitches over his right eye.
Belfour said he dropped a water bottle that Auld slipped on, causing Auld to crack his head open on the marble floor.
More eyewitnesses had said that Belfour was fighting off his teammates.
Blame it on a water bottle?
Odds are Auld's face got in the way of Belfour's fist that night.
That is one way to make sure you remain the starter, Belfour.
5. Shawn McEachern's Sleepwalking Incident
It was well-known in McEachern's family that Shawn was an avid sleepwalker, cracking ribs and splitting his head open while moving around unconscious.
It happened all the time.
One too many, evidently.
MacEachern was held out of the Olympics due to a broken leg that is not connected to an on-ice incident, so it's reasonable to conclude that he suffered the injury in dreamland.
The lesson here is to not wake up a sleepwalker, especially if his name is Shawn McEachern.
4. Erik Johnson's Golf Cart Injury
Heading into the 2008-09 season, St. Louis fans were excited to see the 6'4" Johnson play on the top defensive line for the Blues.
They had to wait another six to nine months after he tore his ACL getting out of a golf cart just weeks before the first game of the season.
3. Darren Turcotte Gets Hit by Own Teammate's Stick
Al MacInnis had one of the fastest slap shots in NHL history, but his stick was meant for pucks, not exposed hands. After a failed power play in 1998, the Blues defenseman was so upset that he slapped his stick down on the sideboards, unknowingly hitting an ungloved Darren Turcotte's hand.
MacInnis said it was "the stupidest thing I ever did."
2. Jaromir Jagr's Wrist Flail on Scott Gomez
Jagr went up to Gomez and flailed with a wrist action that can be described as anything but a punch.
As a result, Jagr dislocated his shoulder in one of the stupidest on-ice injuries in NHL history.
1. Brent Sopel Injured by Cracker
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Brent Sopel had to miss the first game of the NHL playoffs because of back spasms in 2007.
What caused the injury?
Great question, and one that Sopel had no problem answering himself.
“They were all sitting right there,” Sopel said. “My wife was standing beside me and my daughter dropped the cracker. They all saw it and I told them [the team] the way it happened. I tell the truth and this is what I get. Next time I’ll make up a better story.”
As Sopel bent down to grab the broken cracker from the floor, he threw his back out.
The broken cracker incident immediately puts him at the top of the list for stupidest NHL injuries.