The NHL’s season opener was overshadowed by an ugly incident on Tuesday night in Montreal.
And it will likely reignite the debate over fighting’s place in hockey.
Early in the third period of the first game of the season for both clubs, Montreal Canadiens tough guy George Parros fell face first into the ice at the tail end of a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Colton Orr.
The two had thrown several punches in a bout that mimicked many between designated fighters, but when Parros couldn’t free his arms as he crashed to the ice, his chin took the brunt of the blow and he was knocked out cold.
Orr immediately waved for medical personnel to come onto the ice. With trainers hovering over Parros, he initially attempted to get to his feet but slumped back to the ice.
He was then slowly carried off the ice on a stretcher as the Bell Centre fell to a hush.
Initial indications were that Parros was able to move all of his limbs, but he suffered a significant cut to his face and a suspected concussion. The Canadiens said he was taken immediately to hospital.
The circumstances were eerily reminiscent to when Orr was hurt in a similar situation in a fight against Parros in January of 2011.
Orr missed nearly a calendar year with a severe concussion and was even demoted to the minors for an extended period.