Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival underwent surgery Tuesday to repair facial fractures. The timetable for his return is unknown.
“Michal Rozsival underwent surgery today to repair facial fractures,” Blackhawks physician Dr. Michael Terry said. “Surgery went well and he is expected to make a full recovery.”
Rozsival suffered the injuries April 6 during the third period after Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie punched him following the blue liner’s cross-check of Corey Perry.
Ritchie was suspended two games for roughing Rozsival in Anaheim’s 4-0 win.
In its video the NHL's Department of Player Safety stated:
“Ritchie approaches Rozsival with a crosscheck, then drops his gloves and delivers a hard punch to the face of Rozsival, dropping him to the ice and causing an injury. While Rozsival did cross-check Perry, Ritchie's response is in no way permitted or excusable. He acknowledged he was seeking retribution for the crosscheck, which was already being penalized by the on-ice officials. Rozsival has his hands at his sides, and gives no indication that he is a willing combatant in a potential fight or is in any way prepared for the altercation to escalate. With no reason to suspect Rozsival is ready or willing to fight, Ritchie drops his gloves and delivers a forceful bare-knuckle punch to Rozsival's face at a time when Rozsival is unable to defend himself."
Rozsival, 38, had one goal and two assists in 22 games this season. He has 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 106 career playoff games. The veteran defenseman likely would have been a healthy scratch for most of Chicago's first-round series against the Predators, but nonetheless, the team will miss having him as a depth option.
Chicago begins the playoffs Thursday against Nashville at United Center.