Philadelphia Flyers captain Chris Pronger will miss the next two to three weeks of the NHL season after taking a stick to the eye in their game against Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pronger and Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski raced for a loose puck in the circle in the first period of Monday’s game.
Grabovski swiped at the puck, but his stick connected with Pronger’s stick and the blade shot up into the Flyers’ defenseman’s face.
Pronger screamed and thrust his hands to his face.
Bent over, he skated to the bench with his hands over his eyes and headed for the dressing room.
“I knew he was in trouble and needed help,” said Danny Briere, who skated with Pronger to the bench.
“He was hit on the side, and there’s a lot of swelling,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said after the Flyers went on to beat Toronto 4-2.
“The hope is that there’s not a lot of blood buildup there where it will create issues,” added Holmgren, who said Pronger complained of blurred vision.
Pronger does not wear a visor, which is not required in the NHL. Holmgren said the team would insist he wear one when he returns.
“I think he was very scared and rightly so,” Holmgren said. “When something like that happens to your eye, you’re worried about what’s going on.
“I think he settled down over a period of time and was fine when he left.”