Here is a great question to ask yourself: Is Hockey THE deadliest sport around? Some may argue no, while others say yes. I believe it is. Yes, yes, I know boxing, NASCAR, Drag Racing and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) are extremely dangerous, HOWEVER, none of those sports are played on ice!

Chris Botta, a former employee of the Islanders Public Relations, wrote a story that I thought was interesting and should be brought to other people's attention. His latest story of a life changing incident involving a long time NHL line ref. Pat DaPuzzo caught my attention. Two years ago, DaPuzzo, who had been line ref for 24 years before his career came to an abrupt end, had a skate blade slashed across his face. Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers at the time was going up the side board when former New York Rangers Fedor Tyutin hip checked him. The hip check practically took Downie off the ice. This caused Downie's skate to completely lacerate DaPuzzo's face....I advise you- if you are squeamish or can't stand the sight of blood, DO NOT watch the following film:





After DaPuzzo was severely cut, inadvertently by Downie's skate, all hell broke loose. There were fights from every player on the ice at the time of the incident. The goalies weren't involved, they would have gotten a game misconduct and would have been thrown from the game.

Here is what DaPuzzo said to Botta the other day...

"When Steve Downie was checked by Fedor Tyutin and we became entangled along the boards, Downie's leg whipped around and his skate blade cut my nose off. There was a hole in my face. I was on all fours and was bleeding badly. I thought I had lost my eye. Other than that, I don't remember much about the immediate impact of the skate hitting my face. I was later diagnosed with a concussion from the collision, after they sent me to a trauma center in Camden, New Jersey.When I saw three fights had simultaneously broken out between the Rangers and the Flyers after Tyutin hit Downie, I tried to break them up. I guess I was delusional, but I'm old-school -- always was and always will be. I know I was a mess, but my job was to monitor those altercations and end them. If you watch the tape, I actually shove (referee) Kelly Sutherland aside so I can try and do my job. I was thinking that if my mentor (former NHL linesman and supervisor) John D'Amico was looking down from heaven, he would have kicked my butt for not taking care of business.Jim Ramsey, the Rangers trainer, came on the ice and got me. He put a towel over my eyes. I could not see a thing from all the blood. 'Rammer' brought me to the Flyers' trainers. Their doctors sewed my nose back on. It took more than 40 stitches. The doctors were alarmed because my left eye was drooping. They told me I could not go back on the ice because I could die. My face was fractured. That was when I realized this was more than just a brutal cut." Per Chris Botta from Fanhouse.com From AOL.

If one is to tell me that Hockey is not a deadly sport, then I have nothing to say to that. Hockey is indeed the deadliest sport... don't believe me? Take a look at another life-threatening event. It involved former New York Islanders, Richard Zednik and Olli Jokinen. A similar thing happened almost 2 years ago when Jokinen's skate sliced through Zednik's neck causing a serious and life-threatening injury. Both were teammates on the Island and later on, at the time of the incident, they were teammates in Florida. Again, if you are squeamish, turn away from this video....





In both cases, DaPuzzo and Zednik are EXTREMELY LUCKY to be alive!

So yes, boxing, NASCAR, Drag Racing and MMA are all deadly, however, hockey, in my eyes ranks as #1.

Let me know what you think.