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Kopecky will miss rest of Olympics after head hit

Feb 17, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

Slovakia forward Tomas Kopecky is checked by a trainer in the first period of a men's ice hockey game against Slovenia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

Slovakia’s uphill match against the Czech Republic on Tuesday just got a little more daunting. After being hit in the head by Slovenian defenseman Sabahudin Kovacevic, Tomas Kopecky will miss the rest of the 2014 Winter Games, according to the Associated Press.

Kovacevic served a one-game suspension for his actions.

You can see video of the hit here on NBCOlympics.com.

A Slovak team spokesman simply called it an upper-body injury, but obviously if Kopecky has a concussion, then it’s possible that he won’t be available when the Florida Panthers resume their schedule on Feb. 27.

This tournament couldn’t have gone much worse for the Panthers. They only sent two players to the games, and the other one, 18-year-old forward Aleksander Barkov, will reportedly miss the next four-to-six weeks due to a knee injury. With around eight weeks left in their regular season schedule and without any hope of making the playoffs, Florida might simply shutdown Barkov for the rest of the season.

We’ll have to wait for more details before we’ll know if Kopecky is in danger of suffering a similar fate.

  1. soro17 - Feb 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Lousy for Slovakia all around:

    - Kovacevic didn’t get a penalty (they miss out on a 5 minute powerplay)
    - Kovacevic stayed in the game and was Slovenia’s best defenceman
    - Slovakia lose one of their more dependable players for that game and the tournament
    - Kovacevic gets a rest for one game (they were always going to lose to the US)

    They should consider in-game review for major penalties and toss players at the intermission. That was a brutal elbow.

  2. blackhawksdynasty - Feb 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Maybe the IOC can hire Shana-ban to take over supplemental discipline….after all, he’s done such a great job for the NHL…

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