Carolina Hurricanes winger Jeff Skinner left Sunday’s game after taking a high hit from Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen.

Skinner appeared to briefly lose consciousness as he fell to the ice and seemed disoriented once he was back on his skates.  He was assisted to the locker room by referee Francois L’Ecuyer and linesman Tim Nowak.  Skinner did not return to the game.

No penalty was assessed on the play.  Referees for the game were Francis Charron (#6) and Frederick L’Ecuyer (#17).

“He spun around right into my elbow. I could feel his face hit me in the elbow,” said Niskanen after the game. “He has a history of head stuff, so you don’t want to see that. He’s good for hockey. I hope he’s okay.”

“It’s wait and see,” said Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters, on Skinner’s condition. “It’s out of my hands, it’s out his hands, the hit happened and now it’s in the hands of the trainers and the medical people. Down to the last game in the preseason, you definitely don’t want injuries to any of your guys let alone a young player you’re counting on.”

Despite Skinner’s post-game comments, the team needs to be concerned with his history of concussions. Head injuries have cause him to miss time in both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Hopefully, he’s able to stay in the already-injury-depleted Canes lineup for their season opener.

As for Niskanen, we’ll wait to hear what the Department of Player Safety has to say.


Here’s the full play: