In pretty much all sports, officials have to develop a skill for avoiding players whilst the game is flowing and it is certainly vital in a sport like ice hockey, however this is an example of when a linesman can actually deliver a painful hit by accident.
Nowhere to go
There is an art known as the ice-hop that officials have to develop in the NHL, simply put it is avoiding an obstacle out on the ice.
On Wednesday linesman Derek Amell wasn't quite able to avoid the play and found himself in the unenviable position of having to hurdle Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar.
The pre-season game between the Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins was in its closing minutes and Tatar came firing towards Amell who wasn't able to ice-hop quick enough out of the situation and subsequently delivered a flying knee to the forward.
Pinned against the wall and with nowhere to go, Amell unfortunately connected very strongly with the head of Tatar. The forward attempted to stand after the incident but was eventually helped of the rink from teammates and medical staff, he would not return to the game.
It is still not confirmed the complete severity of the injury sustained by Tatar but Detroit are hopeful that is it not as serious as first anticipated.
Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock is optimistic over his players health and told Ansar Khan of MLive.com: "He got hammered pretty good, said it’s worse than UFC, He’s going to be fine.”
Luckily for Amell the player was not seriously injured but the hit itself looked rather hazardous and unavoidable, a dangerous sport at the best of times, Ice Hockey is filled with some of the toughest athletes in the world who are used to this kind of physical punishment.