Edler suspended from IIHF World Championship for hit on Staal

calexander@newsobserver.comMay 17, 2013 

While the Carolina Hurricanes await news on the severity of Eric Staal’s knee injury, the player responsible for the injury has been punished.

The International Ice Hockey Federation on Friday suspended Swedish defenseman Alexander Edler for his knee-on-knee hit on Staal in Thursday’s IIHF World Championship game in Stockholm. The IIHF, in a release, called the hit “reckless, dangerous and ... in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent.”

Staal, who was serving as team captain for Canada, was to return to Raleigh on Friday from Stockholm and will have an MRI exam Saturday.

The action against Edler, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, was taken by the IIHF’s independent disciplinary panel. Edler was given a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct after the hit.

Edler, an NHL All-Star in 2012, collided with Staal late in the first period of the quarterfinal game. The Swedes won the game 3-2 in a shootout, and the Edler suspension will cover Sweden’s final two games of the tournament.

The NHL handed Edler a two-game suspension in March after he hit Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith behind the Coyotes net.

Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said Staal would be evaluated by Carolina’s medical staff. Rutherford has talked with Hockey Canada officials in Sweden about Staal’s injury but said he would wait on the results of the MRI.

Canes goalie Cam Ward suffered a third-degree knee sprain – a tear of the MCL in his left knee – in early March and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Defenseman Justin Faulk sustained a second-degree MCL sprain in his right knee later in March and was out nine games.

Staal, the Canes’ captain, did not miss a game this season and led the team with 53 points in 48 games. He played all 82 games in the 2011-2012 season.

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