The Washington Post

Hockey rink roof collapses as Richard Zednik, kids skate in Slovakia

As Richard Zednik, a former Washington Capitals forward, and young hockey players in Námestovo, Slovakia, skated Sunday, a truly horrifying thing happened: The roof of the rink began to fall in.

No one was injured in the collapse, which started with pieces of ice falling from the ceiling, then gained speed, much like the collapse of the Metrodome roof in December 2010. The Metrodome, however, was largely unoccupied in the early morning before an afternoon game.

(Video after the jump.)

“Parents have noticed that the ceiling began to fall kind of frost, so quickly summoned the children to get them out of the ice surface,” sports editor Oravia Brno Thomas said, via translation from (and PuckDaddy and Mark Spector). “Then there was cracking and literally a few seconds the hall ceiling collapsed completely.”

Zednik, an ambassador for hockey in his native country, played for 13 seasons in the NHL. In addition to the Caps, he also played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers. While playing for the Panthers, his neck was slashed by a skate in 2008. He and his wife spoke memorably then about the incident (which you can watch here; be warned it’s a graphic video).

“Life is so fragile, and you don’t own it,” his wife Jessica told Buffalo News as Zednick recovered in 2008. “You never know and take everything for granted. Not anymore, believe me. It’s a reality check.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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