Jared Aulin (hockeydb) has been hurt playing in a summer league:

Eight games into a stint in the Non Contact Hockey League’s top division, the 25-year-old says he’s likely played his last hockey game following a stick-swinging incident that landed him in the hospital with a concussion, swollen carotid artery and a pail full of painkillers.

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Witnesses say midway through a 9-4 loss last Tuesday between the Nordiques and Aulin’s TH Pirates, a scrum developed that drew the 6-ft., 192-lb. forward into the pack after a teammate allegedly received a Tomahawk chop over the head/shoulder by opponent Quinn Risdon.

As Aulin intervened, Risdon allegedly wielded his stick like a baseball bat and struck Aulin in the neck, sending him to the ice unconscious.

Aulin played 17 games for the Kings in 2002-03 and has been in the AHL since.

A quote from one of Aulin’s summer league teammates focuses on the reality of the situation:

“When I used to see incidents in the NHL like this I used to figure they should, handle it within the league itself,” said Kissel.

“But after watching that, it’s pretty hard not to charge him. Guys who have to get up for work the next morning are out there for a good time and then this happens. When he swings at three guys, you’d have to think there’s some thought involved there. Ogie Oglethorpe (of Slap Shot fame) is what it reminded me of.

“It isn’t like (Aulin) is some hack from the NHL who is looking to fight—he’s leading the league in points.”

We all like a good scrap at the pro-level, but leagues like this are filled with people who have to get to their jobs the next day or week and help support themselves and their families.  Competition and intensity can remain high at any level, but when you’re not playing for a living, everything else should take a backseat to the realities of life.