Swiss Hockey Player Ronny Keller Paralyzed After Brutal Hit into Boards

Swiss Hockey Player Ronny Keller Paralyzed After Brutal Hit into Boards

33 year old Ronny Keller was a defenceman for EHC Olten ice hockey team from Switzerland. On March 5, 2013, during a Nationalliga B play offs game against SC Langenthal, Ronny Keller was brutally checked from behind into the boards by Stefan Schnyder and suffered significant damage to his fourth thoracic vertebra. According to the chief physician from the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwill where the hockey player is being treated, Ronny Keller will be permanently paralyzed. The doctor also clarified that Keller did not suffer brain injury so his mental health will not be affected, he will however be a paraplegic for the rest of his life.

The Swiss hockey league opened a disciplinary investigation on the incident and some say criminal charges may be filed against Stefan Schnyder. His team – SC Lagenthal announced that he will not play another game this season.

Ice hockey is a full contact sport and as with any sport, there is anticipated rivalry between the teams. I don’t however think, despite harsh hits hockey is known for, that any player would get so taken by the game that they would intentionally try to cause harm to another player. I’m sure Stefan Schnyder is devastated by what he had done to Ronny Keller. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the last time he’d ever played hockey.

Also, I’m not an ice hockey rules expert to reliably determine whether the check was an illegal hit, but from what seems obvious from the video, both players were after the puck, but Ronny Keller was the one who initiated contact. But for Stefan Schnyder to push the guy into the boards from behind, that’s all kinds of nasty. You are on the skates, you got speed and if you also get pushed, you’re gonna faceplant the boards whether you like it or not. Faceplants are little brothers of permanent paralyses. They can easily become one.

Miracles do happen, though and there are people who walked after what was considered permanent paralysis. I wish Ronny Keller strength in dealing with the aftermath of the accident and maybe, a miracle will happen and he’ll walk again.

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22 thoughts on “Swiss Hockey Player Ronny Keller Paralyzed After Brutal Hit into Boards

    • Yea, but not intended to harm.
      Stefan did exactly what he was trained to do, knock the other guy on his ass so he could get the puck. The paralysis was a horrible accident.

  1. Horrific accident!
    The guy was deffinitely bracing for the hit before it happened, so I’m sure the hit was intentional with the means to get the puck, but not paralysis of the other player.
    I really hope this guy fights through the paralysis. I also hope Stefan doesn’t face any criminal charges, I don’t think he meant to cause any injury and must feel horrible about it.

  2. Well. It could be worse. As the post says he will be paraplegic for the rest of his life. That’s very unfortunate. But if he had lost control of his arms too… He may as well do what that guy in a wheelchair did with the elevator.

  3. poor bastard…if he does walk again (and i hope he dose) i would change my I.D and go into hiding if i was the other bloke coz he has a big arse kicking on the way with a first class stamp on it!

  4. this website is based out of Canada, so I’m gonna give you guys the benefit of a doubt and assume you know this already but didn’t mention it. it’s considered a major penalty to hit another player in such a way that close to the boards – hence the penalty is called “boarding.” the severity of the penalty is at the discretion of the refs, but can be anything from 5 mins in the box to a game misconduct/potential suspension.

    • Word.

      That was a brutal hit. Saw a wicked boarding with a cross-check st the end in last week’s NJ /Philly game. Personally, that shit should result in ejection, or at the very least, a double minor.

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