Remember Jere Karalahti? He played three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings and had a cup of coffee with the Nashville Predators. If you don’t remember him from the NHL, you’ll no doubt remember him after this hit from a SM-liiga game, in which Karalahti nearly decapitates Markus Poukkula of JYP.
Poukkula was skating though the neutral zone with the puck and made a short dump pass to a teammate when Karalahti, playing for Jokerit, came in like a freight train, his shoulder targeting the head of Poukkula.
He connected, sending Poukkula’s body horizontal and then down to the ice head first. Poukkula went limp, and his teammates – including the goaltender – rushed over to tend to him. He was eventually helped from the ice, skating to the back.
In case you were wondering how lights-out Poukkula was, check out this image from KUVA. The puck next to him was more conscious.
According to reader Urpo Koskinen, who hipped us to the check, Karalahti wasn’t given any penalty for this hit. Poukkula’s teammate Jani Tuppurainen told Ilta-Sanomat after the game (Google Translated):
“I do not know quite what to say, even in this venture. But after all it was just a case incomprehensible [crap]. It does not have any respect for the opponent. Totally made for malicious purpose of the challenge.”
Would Brendan Shanahan even have to explain this one if it happened in the NHL? Could he just stand there, show the clip and say, “Yup…”?