The Chris Clark Captain Cadaver Trophy is awarded annually to the Washington Capital player who sustained the worst physical injury during a game. The award is named for former captain and fan favorite, who during his tenure with the Caps sustained a lacerated ear from an Ovechkin shot, chipped teeth, lost teeth, broken ribs, a sports hernia, a crushed palate bone, sprained shoulder, a forearm stress fracture, and a torn wrist tendon.. “Worst physical injury” is determined by the act causing the injury, the injury itself, and the aftermath/treatment of said injury. There is no current holder of the trophy, as this is the inaugural season for the award.
In alphabetical order:
Eric Belanger’s Mouth:
Belanger made the tooth fairy’s day by losing eight teeth when the Montreal Canadiens Marc-Andre Bergeron stick hit him in the mouth during the first period of Game Five. Belly pulled one tooth out on the bench before returning to finish his shift, TAKING THE VERY NEXT FACEOFF. During the second period, he had exposed roots of his teeth trimmed before returning to the ice in the third period. This was a Friday night game… he then spent the weekend in a dentist’s office, and on Monday suited up to play again. Belanger does not wear mouth protection as a previous injury in which he lost three of his front teeth make it impossible to bite the guard during play.
Quintin Laing’s Jaw:
Laing broke his jaw attempting to block a Michal Rozsival shot during the Caps’ November game versus the New York Rangers. Of his injury he mentioned that he immediately knew something was wrong as he found when he bit down to asses the situation, the points were touching each other instead of fitting into the grooves. In order to repair the damage done, Laing needed to have two metal plates inserted into his jaw during surgery, and his mouth was wired shut for several weeks. This after recovering from Swine Flu the month prior.
Tom Poti’s Eye:
During Game 6 of the Capitals’ post-season campaign, Tom Poti took a shot to his face – breaking four bones and blinding him in his right eye for over 24 hours. Tarik El-Bashir reported today that doctors “lifted the eyeball out, checked behind it, looked beneath it and thoroughly examined it” before putting it back into socket. No word if Poti will be wearing a visor next season.
Honorable Mention: Mike Knuble’s Finger
Knuble broke his pinkie finger crashing the net against the Wild earlier this season. While a broken pinkie may not sound so bad to a casual fan, the six screws surgically inserted into it to hold it together paints the whole picture. His twice-the-normal-size pinkie was best summed up by his wife: “Kind of disgusting.”
And the winner of the inaugural Chris Clark Captain Cadaver Trophy, for the player whose injury most made us squirm and say “Stop-it-stop-it-stop-it!” while flailing our hands as the injury was described to us: Tom Poti! (to whom we wish a speedy recovery.)