Ray Sawada injured by illegal hit in NHL tilt

Richmond's Ray Sawada suffered a broken nose and a shoulder injury while playing for the Dallas Stars when Boston forward Daniel Paille hit him in the head midway through the second period of a fight-marred match on Thursday night.

Paille was handed a four-game suspension Friday morning for the hit after a disciplinary hearing with the NHL.

According to a quote on, former Vancouver Canucks coach and current Stars boss Marc Crawford, Sawada was in bad shape.

"His arm is in a sling. He looked like a mess last night," Crawford said of the 25-year-old. "It's unfortunate for him. He's just a kid trying to play the game."

The hit can be seen as the 11:25 mark of the YouTube video attached to this article. It occurred at the 8:39 mark of the second period.

Sawada had his head down, and was in Boston's zone heading toward the net, when Paille raised his elbow and jumped to hit Sawada square in the side of the head. At the last moment, Sawada appeared to see the hit coming, but couldn't react in time.

The game began with three fights in the opening seconds.

Boston's commentators questioned if it was a blind side hit, or whether it was a hit to Sawada's head.

Paille will forfeit $23,118.28 in salary.

"Paille delivered a lateral hit where the principal point of contact was his opponent's head," said Mike Murphy, the senior vice president of hockey operations for the NHL in a statement on "Additionally, the injury suffered by the Dallas player was a factor in this decision."

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