A National Hockey League official has been badly hurt.
On Tuesday night the Edmonton Oilers were facing off against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a crazy back and forth came that saw three unanswered goals followed by five unanswered goals but the action on the score sheet was far from the focus of everyone's attention after a very scary incident in the first period.
During the opening minutes of the game linesman Steve Barton was badly injured when an awkward collision between Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid and Columbus Blue Jackets star defenseman Zach Werenski resulted in Barton being laid out on the ice, seemingly unconscious.
Barton went down when McDavid bounced off of Werenski after the two of them collided, and that resulted in McDavid sliding into Barton's legs from behind, much like a bowling ball would plow into a pair of bowling pins. The impact resulted in Barton falling over backwards, and unfortunately due to the position of McDavid's body as well as the angle of his fall, his head and neck appeared to absorb all of the impact of his fall. Barton's arms appeared to stiffen up as his skull cracked against the ice, the telltale sign of someone that has been badly concussed. While he did manage to raise his head for a brief moment after the impact, he quickly put it back down and did not move again after the fact.
You knew the situation was serious when everyone began to gather around Barton on the ice and despite the attention of multiple trainers and medical staff they were unable to get him to move under his own power. After a considerable length of time the medical personnel on the ice signaled to the back and moments later a stretcher came out, again a terrible sign of just how badly Barton was injured on this play.
Even after the stretcher came out it was a very long time before the medical team was able to load Barton on the stretcher, and hopefully that isn't an indication that he has suffered some kind of neck or spinal injury. With the length of time it took to secure him though I have to admit I'm genuinely concerned this could be quit bad.
Here's the replay.