As an NHL linesman, Andy McElman is aware that breaking up fights is part of his job description. There’s always a risk involved when you get in the middle of a couple of 220-pound athletes, but most officials will go their entire career without being decked in the face. McElman wasn’t so lucky.
On Tuesday night, Colorado Avalanche center Maxime Talbot got into it with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival after Rozsival cross-checked him following a whistle in the third period. McElman tried to break the scrum up before it escalated, and he ended up catching a right hand from Rozsival square to the face.
The punch knocked McElman to the ice. This wasn’t like when a WWE ref gets flicked and goes flying out of the ring, either. McElman took an actual punch right to the biscuit. That’s what I call an occupational hazard.
Video via CSNChicago.com