The AHL announced a suspension today to Marlies top forward Andreas Johnsson for a hit on Filip Chytil. During the game on December 2 against Hartford, he received a 5 minute boarding major and 10 minute misconduct, which was also listed as a game misconduct on the official game sheet. The suspension is for one game.
The hit to rookie Chytil caused an injury that saw him leave the ice for the rest of the game. His face hit the uprights between two Plexiglas panels. After the game, Sheldon Keefe said:
“It was down in the corner and I didn’t get to see it live. I didn’t like the call when I saw the replay on the screen,” said Marlies Coach Sheldon Keefe, defending Johnsson’s actions and the injury as accidental. “Johnny’s not that type of player whatsoever.”
The on-screen view of the hit is from an angle that makes it difficult to judge:
Filip Chytil goes face first into the stanchion after a hit from Andreas Johnsson. Very, very slow to get up, headed to the room. pic.twitter.com/IunlZKtW6u— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 2, 2017
There is a case to be made that the resulting injury influenced the choice to add a suspension instead of the intent. Of course, intent is always tough to prove, and at the very least the play was careless and potentially dangerous.
The next two Marlies games are Friday and Saturday in Laval, so Johnsson will miss the first one, but should be on the trip. Hartford hasn’t played again since the game in question.
Update re Chytil: Sustained cervical strain on hit Sat night. Day to day with Wolf Pack.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) December 4, 2017
From a look around the internet, and with the disclaimer that I’m not a doctor, a cervical strain seems to be the term for a muscle or tendon injury in the region of the cervical spine (the neck). This is also simply called whiplash sometimes, as it’s a common injury caused by a whiplash type impact in car accidents or in sports.
There is often confusion regarding neck injuries of this type. Aaron Ekblad reported that he suffered a whiplash injury from the hit by Leo Komarov at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, but fans were quick to assume he had a concussion. He himself described the results as concussion-like symptoms.
Chytil has been named to the early roster for the Czech Republic at the WJC beginning later this month, and we all hope he’s over the symptoms by then. Chytil is 18, and is one of a handful of players that young in the AHL.