Keith Ballard suffered a concussion and multiple facial fractures when he was checked into the boards by a New York Islanders player Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild announced Wednesday. He is out indefinitely.
Ballard was checked midway through the second period by Islanders forward Matt Martin. Martin wasn't penalized during the game and he won't be summoned to the league offices to review of the hit, Michael Russo reports.
"I am told no discipline for Martin. I think it was a needless, reckless hit, but often in this case, when a player turns to dodge a check the way Ballard did, the onus is now on him and that turn at last second is viewed as contributing to the incident and injury."
Fans at the Xcel Energy Center booed the officials after a penalty wasn't called, and Mikko Koivu, as noted by the New York Daily News, was seen screaming at the officials. Wild forward Kyle Brodziak dropped his gloves and fought Martin (to a draw with lots of sweater grabbing) as soon as Martin came back on the ice for his ensuing shift.
Here's a video replay of the frightening incident.
The Wild hasn't made a corresponding roster move to replace Ballard. Stay tuned.