Former University of Maine All-Hockey East center Martin Kariya was injured during a Kontinental Hockey League game while playing for Dinamo Riga against Spartak Moscow last Friday night.
According to published reports, the 27-year-old Kariya was checked from behind and hit his head on the ice. He was on the ice for several minutes before being carried off the ice on a tarpaulin.
He spent the night in a hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion. He is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.
The injury came nearly a year after New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during a KHL game and died of a chronic heart condition.
The KHL conducted an investigation into the actions of the medical staff and their response to Kariya’s injury and the league decided to have all clubs hold special training on the removal of injured players from the playing surface.
According to the Kontinental Hockey News, Marcel Hossa, Kariya’s teammate, said “I don’t understand why the medical staff took so long to get to the ice. At times like this, they should be on the ice immediately after the incident. You can never tell how a fall like this will end. I hope this is a lesson for them and, in the future, they will learn.”
Kariya, who followed brothers Paul and Steve and sister Noriko to Maine, is the school’s 11th all-time leading scorer with 155 points (50 goals, 105 assists) in 156 games. He graduated in 2003.
He spent last season with Langnau in Switzerland where he notched 15 goals and 43 assists in 50 games.
He had two assists in four games for Dinamo Riga.