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Czech Jan Kočan suffers brutal hit

January 26, 2012

Player Jan Kočan, of Žďár in Czech hockey’s second tier league, suffered a brutal hit that is being described as a “nightmare” at the hands of Trutnov player Martin Klement in a match yesterday. Klement came at Kočan from behind while at the end-boards, where Klement elbowed him in the head, causing him to crash violently into the boards. According to IDNES and Blesk, Kočan suffered a plethora of injuries, and is struggling to breath and eat. Vladimir Kočan , the player’s father, who was present for the game, said his son has a “severe concussion and several broken facial bone, zygomatic arch and nasal bone.” Vladimir described his son not knowing the hit was coming, and simply the “flash of blood” that resulted. Blesk described the hit as being similar to that of Jarrko Ruutu on Jaromir Jagr at the Turin Olympics in 2006.

The scene at the arena is being described as one of horror, as fans sat silenced. Klement expressed regret and apologized in the aftermath of the game, one from which his opponent finds himself now in hospital, awaiting news of when surgery will be required to fix his damaged face. Martin Klement faced disciplinary action earlier in the season for a dirty hit, and the Czech Ice Hockey Federation is investigating his one already.

Across the hockey world, devastating hits that change careers seem to be happening on weekly basis. The second tier of the Czech league isn’t immune. A smashed face, literally, and a severe concussion, is a mind-blowing injury. One difference among many is that young Kočan isn’t making nearly the money and lacks the security of brethren elsewhere in hockey.
There isn’t yet video available of the incident, but by way of reference, here is the hit of Ruutu on Jagr from 2006:
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