Nolan hit in left eye

Updated: January 5, 2004, 10:38 AM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Maple Leafs forward Owen Nolan injured his left eye in Toronto's 3-3 tie Saturday night with the Buffalo Sabres.

Nolan didn't return after Buffalo's Jay McKee high-sticked him in the face early in the first period. Nolan dropped to the ice and kicked his skates.

"Apparently, there was blunt trauma to the eye as well as the cut," said Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who said Nolan was having flashes. "There's no reason to believe that it is real bad, except that he's not seeing things well right now. That indicates the eyeball was probably hit."

Nolan was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

The eye injury brought bad memories back to the Leafs, who were around when Bryan Berard was severely injured in March 2000. Berard, now with Chicago, missed the rest of that season and all of the 2000-01 campaign after being hit in the eye by the stick of Ottawa's Marian Hossa.

"It gave us some flashbacks," Toronto's Mats Sundin said. "We had the Bryan Berard incident, you don't want to see that."

McKee, who wasn't penalized on the play, showed remorse.

"First chance I had, I skated over to their bench and asked Mats Sundin how he was doing. I wanted to make sure I didn't get him in the eye," McKee said. "I felt bad. I sent over an apology in between the first and second period. Hopefully, it's nothing serious."

Sundin said the officials missed the call.

"They must have just looked away," he said. "It was obvious for us sitting on the bench. I don't know if they are going to review that.

Nolan has nine goals and 19 assists.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press