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On February 10, 2008, in a game between the Florida Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres, teammate Olli Jokinen, while tripping over the leg of Sabres forward Clarke MacArthur, cut Zedník's external carotid artery with his right skate blade. Zedník immediately skated to the Florida bench, leaving a trail of blood on the ice. He was immediately attended to by Florida trainer Dave Zenobi (along with all medical personnel in the arena) who took him to the locker room for treatment until emergency medical personnel arrived at HSBC Arena. Zedník underwent surgery that night starting at 9:00, his status being published as stable after leaving the arena. The game was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the zamboni was needed to help clean the blood from the ice. Zenobi and Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton remained with Zedník; the Panthers arranged for his wife Jessica Welch to be flown in from their South Florida home to be with him in Buffalo. NHL Vice-President Colin Campbell, who was in attendance to see his son Gregory play for the Panthers, made the decision to finish the game after it was confirmed that Zedník was stable and after conversing with officials. The announcement over the public address speakers at HSBC Arena that Zedník was in stable condition and en-route to a Buffalo hospital sparked a standing ovation.
On February 11, ESPN and Rogers Sportsnet reported that Zedník was "stable and talking" in the Intensive Care Unit of Buffalo General Hospital, following emergency surgery to repair the artery. Zedník lost five units of blood but, according to doctors, his life was not in jeopardy. The artery was not severed; had it been, it would have recessed into the neck, requiring more extensive surgery to repair.
On February 12, the CBC reported that Zedník was upgraded to good condition and could be discharged from the hospital as early as the weekend, though doctors stressed that he would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the 2007--08 NHL season. This prognosis proved accurate, as Zedník was released on February 16 but missed the rest of the season.
The incident was similar to an accident in Buffalo on March 22, 1989, when Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk had his internal carotid artery accidentally severed by an opponent's skate blade.
After watching video of the incident, Zedník said that "once is enough." Although neck guards are not mandatory in the NHL, he intends to wear one when he plays again.
Zedník received a lot of support for his injury by fans and fellow hockey players alike. The Panthers' website received more than 20,000 get-well messages. Zedník also took a call from the President of his native Slovakia, Ivan Gašparovič.
He returned to Florida to play in the 2008--09 season. In his first game back since the injury he picked up two assists.