A Swedish prosecutor has confirmed on Thursday that British-born Italian hockey player Thomas Larkin has been charged with assault for blindsiding an opponent during a game last year.
Larkin hit Daniel Paille on the ice during a contest and the former first rounder was left suffering with a severe concussion.
The incident took place on Nov. 7, 2017, during a game between Swedish club Brynas and German team Adler Mannheim in Gavle. Larkin was playing for the German team, and the description of what took place between both players remains hard to read.
According to the charge sheet obtained by The Associated Press, Paille is the plaintiff. After the hit, he was taken to an emergency room at a hospital in Gavle, 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Stockholm.
You can see the dangerous blindside hit in the video here below:
Two days after the incident, Larking apologized using his Twitter account to share his message.
”It wasn’t my intention to cause an injury. I wanted to put pressure on the puck carrier behind the net. I would like to apologize to Daniel Paille and I hope he is back playing soon,” Larkin wrote.
Prosecutor Joakim Johansson said last month’s ruling by Sweden’s Supreme Court where a Swedish hockey player was found guilty of assault for cross-checking an opponent paved the way for criminal prosecution.
Paille was a first rounder pick back in the 2002 NHL Entry draft, when he was selected 20th overall by the Buffalo Sabres. He took part in 582 games with the Sabres, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers before moving to Sweden.
There are some incidents that have taken place in the National Hockey League that were also taken to court. Back in 2004, Vancouver Canucks player Todd Bertuzzi was charged with assault for a sucker-punch that left Colorado Avalanche's Steve Moore with a broken neck. Bertuzzi pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation and community service.
Four years prior to the Bertuzzi's incident, Marty McSorley was charged with hitting Canucks player Donald Brashear with his stick. McSorley was convicted of assault with a weapon, but he received an 18-month conditional discharge. He did not face jail time and was left without a criminal record after probation.
No date for a trial in the Larkin case was announced.