The hockey world suffered an unspeakable tragedy over the weekend when Dmitri Uchaykin, a forward for Ertis Pavlodar of the Kazakh League, passed away due to complications from a head injury suffered in the course of a game.
According to multiple online reports from Russia, including The Hockey House and an Associated Press report,Uchaykin was injured by a violent hit to the head by Lithuanian forward Donatas Kumeliuskas of Arystan Temirtau during a game on Wednesday evening. Uchaykin left the ice under his own power and then went home following the game.
After complaining of a headache the next day, Uchaykin was rushed to the hospital before slipping into a coma. He would never regain consciousness, passing away early Sunday morning from a cerebral hemorrhage.
The death comes at a time when hockey leagues across the globe are trying to make the sport safer as players get bigger and the game is played faster. The NHL has taken notable steps the past few years to crack down on illegal hits to the head and to find safer solutions to reduce brain injuries from collisions on the ice.
Uchaykin, who was 32 and leaves behind a pregnant wife and young daughter, had spent most of his career with Amur of the KHL.