The IIHF World Championship is a major tournament that takes place during the spring, yet is eclipsed here in North America due to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many players who either fail to qualify for the playoffs or get eliminated in the first round make their way onto their respective national rosters for a chance to win international gold. During a quarterfinal match on Thursday between Canada and Sweden, a scary hit took place between Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Alexander Edler of the Vancouver Canucks.
As you can see, Edler skates towards Staal and makes knee-on-knee contact with him without making an attempt to avoid the hit. Edler skates away while Staal is left writhing in pain on the ice. Eventually, Ryan O’ Reilly and and Claude Giroux help Staal off the ice after being looked at by a trainer. Edler was given a major and a match penalty for the collision and was further suspended for the rest of the tournament by the IIHF (which turned out to be two games, as Sweden has advanced to the gold medal match).
This left fans and members of the Hurricanes organization waiting with bated breath to find out the severity of Staal’s injury. On Saturday, it was determined that Staal suffered a grade 3 medial collateral ligament sprain, which is the ligament that connects the inner surfaces of the femur with the shin bone. While a grade three sprain is the most severe, it was the most desirable outcome since nothing was broken or torn and no surgery is required. He will be out for the next three months and should be back in time for training camp to resume.