Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is “conscious and communicating well” after an incidental collision with Corey Perry led to him being stretchered off the ice during Game 1 and transported to a local hospital, head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters.
Tavares will spend the night in hospital for further examination, but tests have come back “clear” so far.
The contact that led to Tavares’ injury occurred after he was sent to the ice by a hit from Ben Chiarot at the blue line. As Tavares was falling, Perry, while attempting to exit the zone, made contact with his head.
Tavares stayed on the ice for several moments and appeared to be in significant distress. Trainers and doctors from both teams rushed to the ice and attended to him.
His status moving forward is not known at this time. As he was being stretchered off the ice, however, he gave a thumbs up in the air.
The next shift Perry was on the ice, he engaged in a fight with Nick Foligno.
Several fans sent social media messages wishing a speedy recovery for Tavares, including former Maple Leafs captain Doug Gilmour.
— Doug Gilmour (@douggilmour) May 21, 2021
The Montreal Canadiens team Twitter account also expressed concern over Tavares’ well-being, tweeting: “We’d like to express our concern for John Tavares and are sending him our best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
Tavares had 19 goals and 31 assists in 56 regular-season games this year.
Editor’s Note: The following video of our Hockey Night panel discussing Tavares’ injury contains footage that is graphic in nature and may be distressing for some viewers. Please use discretion before watching.