A Swedish referee suffered an injury during a pre-season game that one coach called “the nastiest thing” he has ever experienced. The linesman got his hand caught in the boards and his finger was ripped off.
Freak injuries have been known to happen from time to time in hockey, however they’re usually much more laughable than the injury linesman Anton Starby suffered during a Swedish Allsvenskan pre-season game.
For instance, Dustin Penner suffered back injury during his time with the Los Angeles Kings while eating pancakes. That was worth a laugh. And though it wasn’t quite as funny, Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson going on the shelf because he cut his hand while fixing himself a meal was downright bizarre. Starby’s injury doesn’t fall into either category.
During an Allsvenskan exhibition between Tingsryd and Oskarshamn, Starby attempted to avoid a collision between two players along the left wing boards and placed his hand on the dasher to support his body. As his body drifted back across the blueline and toward the goal, his hand got caught in the boards and — brace yourself for this — resulted in his fingertip being torn off.
“He screamed for five minutes, then he was sedated immediately,” Tingsryd coach Magnus Sundquist told Aftonbladet.
Starby’s gruesome injury occurred less than halfway through the opening period, and, according to Aftonbladet, the game was quite calm from that point on. Players were almost in shock as to what they had seen.
“It was the nastiest I have ever experienced,” Sundquist told Aftonbladet. “He tore off his finger, literally. Players wondered what was rope that hung on the rim, but it was the finger. Our doctor had to remove it…We think of him. This was really nasty and very unlucky. It may happen one in a million.”
Tingsryd went on to win the game 6-4.
Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.