It’s been a rough year for Kris Letang.
The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman suffered yet another health scare Saturday afternoon when he was hospitalized following a nasty-looking hit from Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan.
The hit wasn’t the sort of high blow to the head or boarding we’ve come to expect when talking about injury-inducing plays. However, the scariest part of the entire play was Letang’s reaction. The D-man struggled to get up and clearly looked dazed after falling backwards onto the ice and appearing to hit his head on the boards.
Letang eventually made it to his feet and skated off with the help of his teammates.
Letang was taken to a local hospital and eventually diagnosed with a concussion.
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Letang has a concussion history and suffered a stroke last season, which makes the situation even scarier.
Doan wasn’t penalized for the hit but indicated how badly he felt about the play after the game.
“I just went to make sure I got a piece of him so he couldn’t jump by me and he obviously went into the boards awkward,” Doan said, according to ESPN.com. “You never ever want to see anyone like that, especially a guy with his caliber and everything he’s went through in the past couple years.”
Doan eventually had to answer for the play, as Pittsburgh forward Steve Downie challenged him to a fight late in the second period.
Despite that, Downie said he doesn’t feel Doan was trying to hurt Letang.
“I have nothing but respect for (Doan),” Downie said, per ESPN.com. “That’s hockey right there.
“(Doan) is not like that. I don’t think that was dirty. I think (Letang) fell the wrong way and the distance from the boards and everything. We talked about it and I said, ‘Hey, it’s kind of got to be done,’ and he’s not going to shy away from that.”
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Images