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Swedish defenseman banned for hit on Canada's Staal

Canada's Eric Staal (R) lies injured on the ice during their 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-final match against Sweden at t
Canada's Eric Staal (R) lies injured on the ice during their 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-final match against Sweden at t

(Reuters) - Sweden's Alexander Edler was suspended for the rest of the ice hockey world championships on Friday for a knee-on-knee hit that injured Canada captain Eric Staal.

Edler collided with Staal in the first period of Thursday's quarter-final in Stockholm, leaving the Canadian forward on the ice in visible pain and clutching his right knee.

Staal, captain of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Carolina Hurricanes, was helped off the ice and did not return to the game, which Sweden went on to win 3-2 in a shootout.

Edler, a defenseman with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct on the play.

The International Ice Hockey Federation's independent disciplinary panel called Edler's actions "reckless, dangerous" and in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent.

A spokesman for the Hurricanes said Staal, who led his NHL team in scoring during the 2012-13 regular season, is scheduled to return to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday and have an MRI on Saturday.

Sweden will play Finland in a semi-final game on Saturday.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Additional reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Toby Davis)

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