A terrible tragedy took place during a Swiss hockey game earlier this week, as a player named Ronny Keller was reportedly left paralyzed after a brutal hit that sent him flying head-first into the boards. The play happened during overtime of a Nationalliga B playoff game between Olten and Langenthal.
As you can see from the video above, Keller stopped short a few feet from the boards as he was chasing down a puck when Langenthal’s Stefan Schnyder lowered his shoulder and delivered a hit. The play happened very quickly and Schnyder clearly intended to hit Keller, but I highly doubt he ever envisioned the result that followed.
Keller is currently in the ICU of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwill, where the hospital’s chief physician has determined that he has been left paralyzed.
“Following the serious injury of the fourth thoracic vertebra, Ronny Keller will be a permanent paraplegic,” the doctor explained according to Tages Anzeiger. “There is neither head nor brain injuries.”
Schnyder is currently being investigated for any criminal complaint that might be filed against him. The hit could certainly be classified as boarding but, again, I’m sure Schnyder feels horrible about the result. We see massive hits like this all the time in the NHL, but fortunately instances of serious injury and paralysis are very rare. Unfortunately, they are not unheard of.
H/T Puck Daddy