This bizarre, devastating hip check from a KHL game has to be the biggest hit we'll see in any league this season.
Note the headline. It ain't hyperbole. And to throw around "biggest hit of the year" is bold in October.
But this WWE-inspired body blast by Kristaps Zile earns such high scores in brutality, creativity and originality that it'll be tough to top. The hit happened in an MHL (the Kontinental League's junior circuit) game last Friday. Zile, an HK Riga defenseman, laid a hip check on Lukas Pozgay of HC Red Bull. Pozgay made the mistake of holding on for dear life, and Zile proceeded to carry Pozgay several meters before stapling him to the boards, as forcefully as you would a particularly thick document. Here's the unstoppable finishing move, complete with death metal:
We can practically hear Jim Ross' voice in the background, though we can't go too far making light of a hit that knocked Pozgay out of Red Bull's next game. Then again, no headhunting happened here. The hit seemed more the product of Zile trying to shake Pozgay off him.
Whatever you think of it, this is the hit to beat for the rest of the season. And it seems all too fitting such an "xtreme" play happened to a guy who plays for Red Bull.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin