Daniel Szalinski plays for the Melbourne Ice of the Australian Ice Hockey League. This is likely one of the facts he was asked to recall following this massive hit by Greg Bay of the Gold Coast Blue Tongues (what a name) last weekend. Crikey (The hit is 38 seconds into this video.)
From The Age:
With six minutes to play in the first period, Gold Coast's Greg Bay hit Ice forward Daniel Szalinski in centre ice with a massive check, drawing a brutal response from Mitch Humphries. The Melbourne Ice hence lost one player to concussion and the other to a game penalty for roughing.
Ice were outraged by the initial hit; Gold Coast by Ice's reaction. After much consultation, the referees also ejected Bay from the contest.
Gold Coast would go on to win the game. No word if another Melbourne player was set up for personal destruction by a teammate's suicide pass.
This is more than just a random open-ice hit on a YouTube clip. It's the first time we've subsequently stumbled upon a clip in which a concussed player and his mother discuss the aftereffects of the check, and how the players that stood up for her son are "legends."
Here are Daniel Szalinski and his mum Donna Szalinski talking about his brain injury.
"Obviously, it's not much fun to see your son decked in such a manner. I'm fortunate in that I'm a professional coach myself, so I'm used to seeing athletes get injured. It's stressful when it's your own child.
… "Violence in any form doesn't sit well with me. But I couldn't be prouder of Mitch and Austin and the way they stood up for their mate. They're just legends in my mind.
… "He's a bit fuzzy at times. Some people might say this is normal. (Laughs) I'm not supposed to say this because I'm his mother."
Daniel Szalinski said fans have told him that the incident reminded them of Raffi Torres's hit on Marian Hossa, which is a nice reminder that interest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs extends far beyond North American borders.
We also look forward to the Australian Ice Hockey League equivalent to Brendan Shanahan giving Bay 25 games, a hefty fine, two nights inside the dingo cage and a ban from the annual Knifey-Spoony tournament in Gympie.
s/t Ben Fielder