Ice Hockey Wiki
Richard Zedník
Born (1976-01-06)January 6, 1976,
Banská Bystrica,
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Left
Pro clubs NHL
Washington Capitals
Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders
Florida Panthers
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
Ntl. team Flag of Slovakia.png Slovakia
NHL Draft 249th overall, 1994
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1996–2011

Richard Zedník (born January 6, 1976) is a retired Slovak professional ice hockey winger. He has played in the National Hockey League for the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, and Florida Panthers.

He is known for sustaining and surviving a life-threatening injury during a February 2008 game in which the skate of his teammate Olli Jokinen accidentally sliced his external carotid artery.

Playing career[]

Zedník was drafted in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, in the tenth round, 249th overall, after playing junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Zedník scored 35 goals in his rookie year with the Winter Hawks during the 1994–95 season. In his second year with the major junior team, he scored 44 goals which earned him Second Team All-Star honours. Zedník made his professional debut at the end of the 1995–96 season playing in a single game with the Capitals before joining minor league affiliate, the Portland Pirates, for their Calder Cup finals playoff run. Zedník made the Capitals' roster out of training camp in 1996 and scored his first career NHL goal in the season opener on October 5 against Ed Belfour of the Chicago Blackhawks.[1] After one goal in nine games, Zedník was sent down to Portland before being recalled briefly in March 1997.

Zedník played his first full NHL season in 1997–98, playing in 65 games with the Capitals and recording 17 goals.

On October 31, 2000, a local Washington, D.C. radio station, DC101, had a promotion in which they offered fans a free ticket and Zedník jersey if they dyed their hair blond as Zedník had in the off-season. It was Zedník's first game off of a suspension. Two-hundred "Zed Heads" attended the game at which Zedník scored his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings, who had not lost in Washington in ten years.[2]

After spending six seasons with the Capitals, Zedník was traded during the 2000–01 season, along with Jan Bulis and a first round draft pick (Alexander Perezhogin), to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Trevor Linden, Dainius Zubrus, and a second round draft pick (later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning) on March 13, 2001.

On April 26, 2002, during a playoff game in Montreal against the Boston Bruins, Zedník was elbowed in the face by Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren. Zedník suffered a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, and a concussion. Despite the Canadiens losing the game 5-2, and Zedník for the remainder of the playoffs, they would win the series 4-2.

After playing the next three years in Montreal, Zedník was traded back to the Capitals on July 12, 2006 for a third round draft-pick. Zedník's second stint back with the Capitals was short as he was dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Islanders for a second round draft pick on February 26, 2007.

At the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, Zedník, a free agent, signed a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2007.[3]

On April 30, 2009, Zedník was announced as a Masterton Trophy finalist for the 2008–09 season.[4][5] His nomination coincided with an official announcement that Zedník signed to play for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for the 2009–10 season.[6] Zedník's contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslaval was terminated "by mutual agreement" in the summer of 2010.

Zedník then played two games with HC 05 Banská Bystrica of the Slovak Extraliga. On January 10, 2011, Zedník signed a contract with AIK IF, which expired after the 2010–11 Elitserien season.

Neck injury[]

On February 10, 2008, in a game where Zedník's Florida Panthers were playing the Buffalo Sabres, Zedník suffered a severe and potentially life-threatening injury. Teammate Olli Jokinen got tangled up with Sabre Clarke MacArthur and lost his balance in front of Zedník. As Jokinen fell, Zedník was skating past and his skate blade accidentally clipped Zedník's neck, slicing his external carotid artery open and causing it to spray a trail of blood onto the ice as Zedník reacted quickly and skated to the Panthers' bench. He was immediately attended to by Florida trainer Dave Zenobi (along with all medical personnel in the arena) who took him to the locker room for treatment until emergency medical personnel arrived at HSBC Arena.

Zedník underwent surgery that night starting at 9:00, his status being published as stable after leaving the arena.[7] The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the zamboni was needed to help clean the blood from the ice. Zenobi and Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton remained with Zedník; the Panthers arranged for his wife Jessica Welch to be flown in from their South Florida home to be with him in Buffalo.[7] NHL Vice-President Colin Campbell, who was in attendance to see his son Gregory play for the Panthers, made the decision to continue the game after it was confirmed that Zedník was stable and after conversing with officials. The announcement over the public address speakers at HSBC Arena that Zedník was in stable condition and en route to a Buffalo hospital sparked a prolonged standing ovation from the Buffalo fans.

On February 11, ESPN and Rogers Sportsnet reported that Zedník was "stable and talking" in the Intensive Care Unit of Buffalo General Hospital, following emergency surgery to repair the artery. Zedník lost five units of blood but, according to doctors, his life was not in jeopardy. The artery was not severed; had it been, it would have recessed into the neck, requiring more extensive surgery to repair.[8][9]

On February 12, the CBC reported that Zedník was upgraded to good condition and could be discharged from the hospital as early as the weekend, though doctors stressed that he would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the 2007–08 NHL season.[10] This prognosis proved accurate, as Zedník was released on February 16[11] but missed the rest of the season.[12]

After watching video of the incident, Zedník said that "once is enough." Although neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL, he intends to wear one when he plays again.[11]

Zedník received a lot of support for his injury by fans and fellow hockey players alike. The Panthers' website received more than 20,000 get-well messages. Zedník also took a call from the President of his native Slovakia, Ivan Gas.[13]

He returned to Florida to play in the 2008–09 season.[12] In his first game back since the injury he picked up two assists.

Zedník's injury was reminiscent of a much more severe injury suffered by Clint Malarchuk, a goalie for the Sabres, back in the 1988–89 season. Malarchuk had his carotid artory severed in a collision when Steve Tuttle's skate caught Malarchuk in the throat, and the resulting blood loss nearly resulted in his death. Malarchuk was greatly affected by Zedník's injury, with the memories from his incident suddenly being rehashed, and eventually was driven to attempt suicide later in 2008.[14]

Personal life[]

Zedník married French-Canadian actress Jessica Welch in 2005. They divorced in 2009 and have one daughter.[15]

Career statistics[]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Portland Winterhawks WHL 65 35 51 86 89 9 5 5 10 20
1995–96 Portland Winterhawks WHL 61 44 37 81 154 7 8 4 12 23
1995–96 Portland Pirates AHL 1 1 1 2 0 21 4 5 9 26
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Portland Pirates AHL 56 15 20 35 70 5 1 0 1 6
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 11 2 1 3 4
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 65 17 9 26 28 17 7 3 10 16
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 49 9 8 17 50
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 69 19 16 35 54 5 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 62 16 19 35 61
2000–01 Montreal Canadiens NHL 12 3 6 9 10
2001–02 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 22 22 44 59 4 4 4 8 6
2002–03 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 31 19 50 79
2003–04 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 26 24 50 63 11 3 3 6 2
2004–05 HKm Zvolen SVK 36 15 19 34 56 17 9 10 19 12
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 16 14 30 48 6 2 0 2 4
2006–07 Washington Capitals NHL 32 6 12 18 16
2006–07 New York Islanders NHL 10 1 2 3 2 5 0 0 0 8
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 54 15 11 26 43
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 70 17 16 33 46
2009–10 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 37 6 12 18 56 17 3 5 8 22
2010–11 AIK IF SEL 18 2 3 5 12
NHL totals 745 200 179 379 563 48 16 10 26 41

International play[]

Played for Slovakia in:


  2. Red Wings vs. Capitals
  3. Richard Zednik inks two-year deal with Panthers. (July 1, 2007). Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  4. Chelios, Sullivan, Zednik nominated for Bill Masterton Trophy. (April 30, 2009). Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  5. Masterton finalists meet criteria. (April 30, 2009). Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  6. Masterton finalist Zednik signs two-year deal with Russian club. (April 30, 2009). Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Panthers' Zednik takes skate cut to neck", TSN, February 10, 2008. Retrieved on February 11, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. 
  8. "Life-saving surgery needed", Rogers Sportsnet, February 11, 2008. Retrieved on February 11, 2008. 
  9. "Zednik stable after carotid artery severed in Panthers-Sabers game", ESPN, February 11, 2008. Retrieved on February 11, 2008. 
  10. "Richard Zednik's condition upgraded to good", CBC, February 12, 2008. Retrieved on February 12, 2008. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Zednik feared he might die from throat slash", CTV, February 21, 2008. Retrieved on February 21, 2008. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Richards, George. "Florida Panthers' Richard Zednik back on ice after 7 months", Miami Herald, September 10, 2008. Retrieved on September 11, 2008. 
  13. "Zednik:Injury 'felt like being stabbed!'", TSN, February 21, 2008. Retrieved on February 21, 2008. Archived from the original on February 25, 2008. 
  14. Malarchuk still haunted by accident

External links[]