Dec 1, 2011, 5:28 PM EDT
Mason Raymond will make his season debut tonight in Vancouver when the Canucks host Nashville. The 26-year-old winger knows he’s lucky for the opportunity after breaking his back during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.
“I’ve come a long ways,” Raymond told reporters yesterday. “You go from lying in bed for a week, barely moving, to being in a brace for a few months. It’s been a long process. I’m blessed to be able to be back here, playing the game I love. You don’t really realize, I think, what you use every day — the use of your hands, your legs, until something like that happens maybe.”
The injury occurred when Raymond was ridden into the boards by Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. No penalty was called on the play, a decision that still bothers some Canucks fans, particularly given the four-game suspension handed to Aaron Rome during the series.
Of real concern, however, was Raymond’s health.
“I remember him going down and initially I thought he hit his head,” assistant coach Rick Bowness said. “Then he comes off the ice and you talk to the doctors and trainers and realize it’s a lower-back injury. That’s not good. Then they tell you the extent of it and it’s: ‘Wow. Is that career-threatening?’ It possibly could be. Fortunately, it wasn’t.
“People don’t know what he went through mentally and emotionally and what he had to go through physically just to get back, just to give himself an opportunity to play again. People don’t see what he goes through every day.”
- Kucherov isn’t going to ‘cry’ about Kronwall hit 9
- Nothing but Kuznetsov: Caps best Isles in Game 7 18
- Not done yet: Lightning earn Game 7 against Red Wings 5
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 0
- Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’ 27
- Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core? 16
- Report: Developers file intent to build arena in Seattle suburb 76
- Rangers lose Zuccarello indefinitely with suspected concussion 8
- Cooper: Lightning have to ‘suck it up’ and ‘fight through’ Wings’ interference 51
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 13
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (110)
- Another Blues campaign ends in disappoint as Wild advance (99)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin (89)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)