Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall sat out Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets after cutting his head when he accidentally made contact with a teammate during pregame warm-ups.
Hall was skating when he first came on the ice, apparently slipped and fell and collided with a teammate before cutting his head on the skate of another teammate.
"This is one of those fluky things. It just happens," coach Tom Renney said. "Not much we can do about it."
Renney said Hall had wanted to come back out and play in the game, but was held out.
The team announced in the second period that Hall had suffered a "cut to the head" and would not play in the game.
Hall, who was not wearing a helmet, had blood running down the side of his head while a trainer tried to staunch the flow.
The 20-year-old, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, has 15 goals and 16 assists in 36 games. He was facing the Blue Jackets for the first time since a March 3 game in which he broke an ankle during a fight with Derek Dorsett.
Hall was on a roll with goals in six of his past nine games.
It was just another bit of bad news for the Oilers, who were already missing their top two scorers, winger Jordan Eberle (right knee) and centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, their second-leading scorer and the NHL's top rookie (left shoulder) along with centre Eric Belanger (back) and defencemen Ryan Whitney (right ankle), Tom Gilbert (right knee), Cam Barker (left ankle surgery), Taylor Fedun (broken right leg) and Alex Plante (head).
It would be enough to make anybody think that the Oilers can't catch a break.
"No, we're not thinking that way at all," Renney said. "It's just the way life is. There's opportunities here for players, an opportunity to step in and play for those guys. There's an opportunity for our team to galvanize and go after wins nonetheless. You learn an awful lot about yourself and team under those type of circumstances. 'Uncle' on the learning part of it, maybe, but these are the cards we were dealt and we have to sit at the table and play."
Asked if Hall would be wearing a helmet during pregame of his next appearance, Renney said, "He might be wearing a helmet walking down the street."