We suspect that Tomas Vokoun and team mate Keith Ballard won't be exchanging Christmas cards this year, especially after Vokoun had to leave Monday night's game after a bizarre incident which saw team mate Ballard chopping him in the head after Vokoun gave up a goal to the Thrashers.
Now we suspect that Ballard probably wasn't intending to chop his own goaltender in frustration over the Thrashers marker, but while he was busy losing his head, he damn near took off Vokoun's.
The game was delayed for a number of minutes while ambulance personnel examined the Panther's goaltender and then loaded him into an ambulance for a trip to the hospital, Vokoun suffered a cut ear and should not suffer any internal ear damage, nor are there fears of neurological damage from the swing .
It's unknown what internal disciplinary action the Panther's will take in this one, there are some calls for the league to suspend Ballard, if not for attempted manslaughter then for careless use of his stick. Though it's not expected to reach the desk of Colin Campbell, though a phone call to suggest some anger management lessons might be made we suspect.
It may also give Campbell the opportunity to dust off his working copy of Respect and the need for it in the game, it would seem that judging by some recent incidents, a few of his students need a refresher course on how to treat each other on the ice.
It does leave Vokoun with a bit of dilemma however whenever he returns to the Panthers line up, not only will he have to worry about the opposition shots and crashing of the net, now he has to keep in the back of his mind that one of his own is possibly more dangerous than anyone else on the ice.
Globe and Mail-- Vokoun hurt after being accidentally hit in the head by teammate's stick
USA Today-- Ballard's slash of Panthers teammate Vokoun gets no penalty
Toronto Sun-- Vokoun's injury shocks league
Canadian Press-- No hard feelings after Vokoun injured by teammate's accidental swipe
Atlanta Journal-Constitution-- Vokoun’s injury one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen
TSN-- No internal damage after Vokoun struck by Ballard's stick
TSN-- Ballard's high stick on Vokoun won't be punished