Victor Hedman (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman left Thursday’s game against Dallas and did not return following a big hit by Stars captain Jamie Benn. The Lightning blueliner has a history of head injuries, missing 14 games over his career due to concussions.
Tampa Bay’s star blueliner Victor Hedman left Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars with what appears to be a head injury.
With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, Hedman took a lead pass and skated into the Dallas zone. Hedman had gotten tangled up along the boards with Dallas defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka when Stars captain Jamie Benn skated in and crunched Hedman along the boards.
As soon as the hit was delivered, Hedman dropped his stick and appeared to clutch his head:
Hedman skated off the ice under his own power but he immediately headed back to the dressing room. He missed the remainder of the second period and didn’t come back onto the bench to start the third period. It was announced Hedman would not return midway through the third period.
The hit by Benn didn’t appear malicious or predatory, nor did his elbow come up, but the force of the hit caused Hedman’s head to bounce off the glass.
Hedman is the Lightning’s top blueliner and coming into Thursday night he had averaged more than one minute more ice time than any other player in the Tampa Bay lineup. In his first four games this season, Hedman registered four assists and was taking big minutes on both the power play and penalty kill units.
If Hedman is out for any significant period of time with a head injury, it would be a massive blow to the Lightning blueline. Making the potential head injury more worrisome is that Hedman has a concussion history. In 2009, he missed one game with a concussion, which was followed by 13 games on the shelf with a concussion in 2012.
In 2014-15, Hedman notched 10 goals and 38 points in 59 games.