With the Pittsburgh Penguins defense already thin with Kris Letang out, the blue line took another hit in a most unusual manner during Sunday's 5-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Depth defenseman David Warsofsky was just doing what he should have been doing – skating backwards while defending the oncoming rush – when referee Tim Peel lost his footing and began sliding uncontrollably and precariously towards the oncoming skaters.
Warsofsky never saw him coming and Peel ended up colliding with the Pens defenseman low and sent him flying. Warsofsky came down awkwardly, appearing to land on his head.
He remained on the ice for some time before requiring assistance to the locker room. After the game, head coach Mike Sullivan said that Warsofsky was still being evaluated.
It's a freak accident, one that Peel surely regrets even if there wasn't much he could do about it. Everyone loses an edge sometimes. This was just really unfortunately timed.
The injury to the 25-year-old defenseman could potentially open the door for Penguins prospect Derrick Pouliot to get back to the NHL if it's serious enough for Warsofsky to miss games.