One day after Team Canada announced that they'd have to go for gold in Sochi without Steven Stamkos, wistfully settling for the highest-scoring player since the last Olympics, Team USA got an injury scare of their own.
David Poile, general manager for both the Nashville Predators and Team USA in Sochi, was taken to a local hospital Thursday after being struck in the face with a puck.
Coach Barry Trotz said Poile was hit while standing in the hallway behind the Predators bench during Thursday's morning skate before the evening's game against the Minnesota Wild.
"Just looking at it, it was above the eye, so there was no damage to the eye," Trotz said. "It was a hard, rocket pass that skipped and hit him pretty flush. We hope everything is fine there."
He seemed dazed, according to onlookers, but he walked to the stretcher by himself, which is a good sign. But his injuries are pretty gruesome:
Nashville and Team USA GM David Poile still in surgery as of 20 minutes ago. He's going to need 30-40 stitches. It's an eye socket fracture.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) February 6, 2014
Supposing he recovers in time, Poile will be boarding a flight for Sochi over the weekend to watch the team he's assembled through hard work, analysis, and dream interpretation attempt to knock off the home Russians, the favorite Canadians, and the always dangerous Swedes to finish atop the podium. Can they do it? More importantly, did anyone save the puck? Because listen: it's obviously super unlucky to be hit in the face by a puck when you're not even on the ice, standing in the hallway, but if Team USA wins gold now that their GM's taken a puck to the mug, then I think we can safely assume the victory was caused by the good luck puck. UPDATE: It was quite an eventful day in Predatorville. The team's TV play-by-by man, Pete Weber, was taken to a local St. Paul, Minnesota hospital after suffering a heart attack, according to the Nashville Post. He told the Post he's feeling comfortable and out of trouble.