Horrible news of out Switzerland, after a brutal hit during a playoff game in the second-tier Nationalliga B left defenseman Ronny Keller paralyzed. Via Puck Daddy, the 33-year-old Keller was checked from behind by Stefan Schnyder, sending him into the board head-first. This is exactly what the NHL is trying to prevent when it cracks down on boarding defenseless players, like Patrick Kaleta's hit on Brad Richards this weekend.

According a statement from the hospital where Keller is being treated,

"Following a serious injury of the fourth thoracic vertebra, Ronny Keller will be a permanent paraplegic."

The local attorney general has opened an investigation, and will reportedly weigh intent, negligence, and whether Schnyder's actions were egregiously outside the boundaries of the sport. (For what it's worth, Keller felt Schnyder on his tail, and turned into the hit, losing his footing at the exact wrong distance from the boards. Sadly, had he just played the puck, he would have been pancaked, but fine.)

Schnyder has contacted Keller and expressed his regret both privately and publicly, and is receiving psychological support.

[Puck Daddy]