The stench caused by sweaty hockey equipment is caused not by the sweat itself but by the bacteria which it sustains. Several players have contracted severe infections after playing with superficial flesh wounds. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikael Renberg, for example, once played a game with an injured hand (which he had cut while tying his skates) -- and the ensuing infection nearly required amputation.
[Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ed Belfour was sidelined early in the same season after a cut on his finger from an eyelet on his skate became infected. Among other players with career-threatening infections? Boston Bruins captain Joe Thorton (elbow, required surgery) and Gary Suter (tricep).]