Minnesota Wild’s Jason Zucker Takes Skate to the Throat from L.A.’s Kyle Clifford (GIF)

skate to the throat

Halloween nearly came early in Los Angeles last night when Kings winger Kyle Clifford collided with Wild winger Jason Zucker, lost his balance, and nearly slashed open Zucker’s jugular with a skate to the throat.

The frighteningly close incident occurred with just under six minutes remaining in the second period. Zucker stuck out his foot and tripped Clifford. Then, as Clifford was going forward, his right foot flew up into the air and delivered an accidental back-heel kick to Zucker’s face.

If Clifford had been another two inches away from Zucker, this skate to the throat would have been a bloodbath—something the NHL has seen before.

Luckily the blade just grazed Zucker’s chin, and he lived to take his two-minute vacay in the penalty box.

Take a look:

skate to throat

The NHL has taken many measures to improve player safety over the years, from mandating helmets in 1979 to mandating visors in 2013. However, as this incident reminds us, there is nothing the league can do to remove all risk from the game of hockey. As long as the game consists of huge men skating around on razor sharp blades of steel and firing frozen pieces of rubber at each other at 90 miles per hour, it’s going to be dangerous.

Zucker almost found that out the hard way.

Hat Tip – [The Hockey News]

Tags: gruesome hockey injuries, Jason Zucker, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, NHL, skate to the neck,