Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars Being Investigated Over Medical Mistreatment

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Juuso Valimaki was left for hours without care in a Dallas hospital "unable to function" after taking a puck to the face last month. Now the NHL and NHLPA want to know why and have opened an investigation.

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports that Valimaki and his wife were dropped off by ambulance at the emergency room, and then left to their own devices. The hospital at first refused to treat him, triaging other patients ahead of him, and telling him to go to a hotel and come back in the morning. 

The report says that Valimaki, however, had significant internal bleeding, and was unable to function. Doctors later said that "there was a chance he could have asphyxiated on his own blood" if he had waited until the next morning for treatment.

Valimaki's wife contacted the NHLPA later in the evening, and finally, five hours later, he was treated and wound up with 55 stitches in his mouth, a fractured bone and the loss of three teeth.

He was hit by a slapshot in the face, and immediately after the scary incident Dallas Stars doctors at the arena told him that surgery would be necessary, so he was taken to hospital, where he was left unattended for all those hours.

The NHL and NHLPA are jointly investigating the matter, according to Seravalli's report. Whether the Stars or Coyotes violated the league's medical protocols is at question, and the teams are cooperating with the investigation. 

The former first-rounder (16th overall, 2017 Draft) has been back for a couple of weeks in his top-four role on the blueline, and is averaging 18:22 of ice time across 22 games this season, his second year with Arizona. He has six assists.

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports