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Richard Zedník (born January 6, 1976) is a Slovak professional hockey player who plays right wing for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Playing career

He was drafted in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, in the tenth round, two-hundred forty-ninth overall, after playing junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League.

Zedník scored 35 goals in his rookie year with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League during the 1994–95 season. In his second year with the major junior team, he scored 44 goals which earned him Second Team All-Star honours. Zednik made his professional debut at the end of the 1995–96 season playing in a single game with the Capitals before joining minor league affiliate, the Portland Pirates for their Calder Cup finals playoff run.

Richard played his first full NHL season in 1997–98, playing in 65 games with the Capitals and recording 17 goals.

On October 31, 2000, a local Washington, DC radio station DC101 had a promotion in which they offered fans a free ticket and Zedník jersey if they dyed their hair blond as Zedník had in the offseason. Over two hundred people showed up as "Zed Heads" and Zedník scored his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings.

After spending six seasons with the Capitals, Zedník was traded during the 2000–01 season, along with Jan Bulis and a first round draft pick (Alexander Perezhogin) to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Trevor Linden, Dainius Zubrus, and a second round draft pick (later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning) on March 13, 2001.

On April 26, 2002, during a playoff game in Montreal against the Boston Bruins, Zedník was elbowed in the face by Bruin defender Kyle McLaren. Zedník, who had scored both goals for Montreal in the 5–2 loss, suffered a fractured cheekbone, broken nose, and a concussion. The injuries forced Zedník to miss the remainder of the playoffs.

After playing the next 3 years in Montreal, Zedník was traded back to the Capitals on July 12, 2006, for a third round draft-pick. Zedník's second stint back with the Capitals was short as he was dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Islanders for a 2nd round draft pick on February 26, 2007.

At the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, Zedník a Free Agent, signed a 2-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 1, 2007.

On April 30, 2009, Zedník was announced as a Masterton Trophy finalist for the 2008–09 season. His nomination coincided with a official announcement that Zedník signed to play for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for the 2009-10 season.

Neck injury

On February 10, 2008, in a game between the Florida Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres, teammate Olli Jokinen, while tripping over the leg of Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur, cut Zedník's external carotid artery with his right skate blade. Zedník immediately skated to the Florida bench, leaving a trail of blood on the ice. He was immediately attended to by Florida trainer Dave Zenobi (along with all medical personnel in the arena) who took him to the locker room for treatment until emergency medical personnel arrived at HSBC Arenamarker. Zedník underwent surgery that night starting at 9:00, his status being published as stable after leaving the arena. The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the zamboni was needed to help clean the blood from the ice. Zenobi and assistant general manager Randy Sexton remained with Zedník; the Panthers arranged for his wife Jessica Welch to be flown in from their South Florida home to be with him in Buffalo. NHL Vice President Colin Campbell, who was in attendance to see his son Gregory play for the Panthers, made the decision to finish the game after it was confirmed that Zedník was stable and after conversing with officials. The announcement over the public address speakers at HSBC Arena that Zedník was in stable condition and en-route to a Buffalo hospital sparked a standing ovation.

On February 11, ESPN and Rogers Sportsnet reported that Zedník was "stable and talking" in the Intensive Care Unit of Buffalo General Hospital, following emergency surgery to repair the artery. Zedník lost five units of blood but, according to doctors, his life was not in jeopardy. The artery was not severed; had it been, it would have recessed into the neck, requiring more extensive surgery to repair.

On February 12, the CBC reported that Zedník was upgraded to good condition and could be discharged from the hospital as early as the weekend, though doctors stressed that he would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the 2007–08 NHL season. This prognosis proved accurate, as Zedník was released on February 16 but missed the rest of the season.

The incident was similar to an accident in Buffalo on March 22, 1989, when Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk had his jugular vein accidentally severed by an opponent's skate blade.

After watching video of the incident, Zedník said that "once is enough". Although neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL, he intends to wear one when he plays again.

Zedník received a lot of support for his injury by fans and fellow hockey players alike. The Panthers' website received more than 20,000 get-well messages. Zedník also took a call from the president of his native Slovakia, Ivan Gašparovič.

He returned to Florida to play in the 2008–09 season. In his first game back since the injury he picked up two assists.

Personal life

Zedník is married to French Canadian actress Jessica Welch. They have a daughter named Ella Zedník. born on December 6, 2003.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 65 35 51 86 89 9 5 5 10 20
1995–96 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 61 44 37 81 154 7 8 4 12 23
1995–96 Portland Pirates AHL 1 1 1 2 0 21 4 5 9 26
1995–96 Washington Capitals NHL 1 0 0 0 0
1996–97 Portland Pirates AHL 56 15 20 35 70 5 1 0 1 6
1996–97 Washington Capitals NHL 11 2 1 3 4
1997–98 Washington Capitals NHL 65 17 9 26 28 17 7 3 10 16
1998–99 Washington Capitals NHL 49 9 8 17 50
1999–00 Washington Capitals NHL 69 19 16 35 54 5 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Washington Capitals NHL 62 16 19 35 61
2000–01 Montreal Canadiens NHL 12 3 6 9 10
2001–02 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 22 22 44 59 4 4 4 8 6
2002–03 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 31 19 50 79
2003–04 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 26 24 50 63 11 3 3 6 2
2004–05 HKm Zvolen SVK 36 15 19 34 56 17 9 10 19 12
2005–06 Montreal Canadiens NHL 67 16 14 30 48 6 2 0 2 4
2006–07 Washington Capitals NHL 32 6 12 18 16
2006–07 New York Islanders NHL 10 1 2 3 2 5 0 0 0 8
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 54 15 11 26 43
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 70 17 16 33 46
NHL totals 745 200 179 379 563 48 16 10 26 41

International play

Played for Slovakia in:

See also


  1. Red Wings vs. Capitals

External links

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