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Loose Change: On the other hand

Well, you know this is going to be a tough list to crack.

If there’s ever any mention of the most severe injury in NHL history, it revolves around the triumvirate of Clint Malarchuk, Bill Masterton and now, Richard Zednik. Really no arguing here – literally.

But what about the opposite end of the spectrum? What about the most minor injuries in professional hockey history?

Sounds like a Top 10 list to me…

1. Broken Neck - Tyrus The Water Bottle. The main casualty of Jeremy Roenick’s water bottle flinging tirade of 2004 was, frankly, one of the innocent water bottles. Specifically the one he threw – that went by the name Tyrus - who bounced twice on the ice, severing his spine and splitting his neck wide open. Tyrus never regained his professional form and is now employed as a Sippy Cup somewhere in southern Idaho.

2. Ink Stain - Alexei Yashin. After signing his $87.5 million deal, the ballpoint pen Yashin was using to sign the massive contract exploded in his lapel pocket, causing unsightly chest stains. Even after it was explained to him “blood isn’t blue” Yashin opted for three months of R & R, just to be safe.

3. Upset Tummy - Alexei Yashin. A particularly engrossing episode of One Tree Hill kept Yashin out of the lineup for three straight games.

4. Repetitive Acne - Alexandre Daigle. A pimple on an extended tour of southern California can really hinder a guy’s ability to score, goals even.

5. Bent Mustache - Mike Ribeiro. During his tenure in Montreal, Ribeiro was feigning another injury when he was blindsided by some errant popcorn thrown from the stands. A particularly weighty piece hit him square in the jaw, reportedly dislodging a whisker from his facial hair and sending him into the boards. After three hours of “surgery” (intensive combing), Ribeiro was placed on the IR where he remained while under the watchful eye of his Asian manicurist.

6. Sheared follicles – Ron Duguay.
Ex-Ranger Duguay was struck inadvertently by the blade of a stick right above his left forehead immediately cutting an estimated 37 hairs from his beautiful locks. He went into hiding and vowed to not return until he “shed his Hobbit-like appearance.”

7. Fainting spell – Russ Courtnall. While playing against the Oilers, Courtnall overheard Edmonton’s Dave Semenko whisper, “I’m going to get you.” Later – after regaining consciousness – it was explained to Courtnall that Semenko was referring to a ten-speed bike from a Sears catalogue he was reading during his ample time on the Oilers’ bench. In later years, Courtnall claimed to have “won the fight.”

8. Eyelash Contusion – Robert Reichel. Blinking at the wrong time during a faceoff can have serious repercussions. Seriously…

9. Bad Aura – Radek Bonk.
When your moon is rising in Venus and the Sun is a quarter Scorpio and you haven’t scored in twelve games. Oh, you just wouldn’t understand…

10. Undefined Boo Boo – Eric Lindros.
This was particularly hard to pin down since Eric wouldn’t actually explain this one to the media. He just sat there, forlorn, behind Mom and Dad, his agent, his brother and Elvis Stojko, with a trembling bottom lip and sad puppy-dog eyes. We think it was a lower body injury, but, to this day, it’s never been explained.

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at


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