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No punishment for Swiss player whose hit paralyzed Ronny Keller

The hit was brutal.

In a Swiss Nationalliga B playoff game in early March, Langenthal player Stefan Schnyder checked Olten defenseman Ronny Keller into the end boards. Keller’s head and neck crashed into them at a high velocity. He was motionless on the ice before being stretchered off. Later, doctors said Keller would be a “permanent paraplegic” as a result of the hit:

One can’t even process the firestorm that would engulf the National Hockey League if one of its players was paralyzed as a result of a hit.

Well, imagine then if the player who delivered the hit escaped with no reprimand from the league. Schnyder found out on Monday that there will be no discipline handed out for the check that made Keller paraplegic.

From the AP:

The league says its disciplinary judge ruled that the March 5 incident which left Olten defender Ronny Keller paraplegic was an unfortunate accident.

… The league says although Schnyder raised his arm, he didn't check Keller with his body or elbow and it therefore couldn't be established if he was to blame for the incident. A disciplinary process has been stopped.

According to this Swiss media account, the judge also ruled that there is “expected physical contact” between the two players, and that Keller losing his balance was a primary factor in his injury.

The fact is that Keller is delivering his own check on Schnyder when Schnyder levels him into the boards.

It’s just a hockey play gone tragically wrong, and good on the Swiss league for not reacting to the injury rather than the incident.

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