Ryan Straschnitzki felt at home as he was wheeled into a perch overlooking the ice at the Philadelphia Flyers‘ practice facility.
Below him Leonard Floyd Jersey , Flyers prospects in the same age range as the 19-year-old Straschnitzki skated in drills and in a hurry to impress, much like his days as a defenseman for the Humboldt Broncos before the bus crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall and other members of the organization came to visit. Defenseman Sam Morin heard Straschnitzki was in the building and popped by for a chat.
The hopeful Flyers paused during camp Friday and raised their sticks toward Straschnitzki for a traditional salute.
Straschnitzki was right where he wanted to be – at the rink, watching the game he loves.
”Just the smell of the ice coming in today brought back so many memories of your first time skating ,” Straschnitzki said.
Straschnitzki met the coaching staff and some top prospects during a break in his rehabilitation from the injuries suffered in April when a bus carrying the Broncos to a playoff game collided with a semi-trailer at a rural intersection, killing 16. Straschnitzki was among 13 more injured.
Straschnitzki was wheeled on a stretcher into Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia on May 31 and expected to rehab there for six to eight weeks. He has used weights almost daily to work on his arm muscles during physiotherapy sessions and has walked on a treadmill with the help of therapists. Sitting on a massage table, he’s used laser focus for the simple task of tying the laces on his sneakers.
”I’ve made quite a bit of progress,” he said. ”The rehab pushed me to my limits.”
Straschnitzki needs two hours in the morning just to complete routine tasks like a shower and getting dressed before he starts his exercises. He rehabs for about two hours, breaks for lunch, then has two more rehab sessions before he ends the day in exhaustion. With the same tireless work ethic he used to move up the hockey ranks, Straschnitzki said he was told he could return ahead of scheduled to his Airdrie, Alberta, home for the first time in almost eight months next weekend.
His family home is undergoing a $200 Jalen Ramsey Jersey Black ,000 renovation to make it handicapped accessible and the Straschnitzkis will live in a hotel for the summer until construction is completed.
The Calgary Flames have talked to Straschnitzki once he’s settled about a possible job in the organization.
”Hockey is my life,” he said. ”I’ve grown up talking about it, living it, playing it. I think if there’s a job opportunity down the road, I think it’s definitely option. Right now, though, I’m just focused on healing first and getting better. We’ll see what happens.”
The NHL has rallied around the survivors and families of the victims. Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald offered the Straschnitzkis use of his home and car when the family was in Philadelphia. Hextall, who stopped to compose himself at times, said the tragedy has brought out the best in hockey.
”Ryan’s an inspiring young man. He’s special, he really is,” said Hextall, a former star goalie for the Flyers said. ”He’s not feeling sorry for himself.”
Straschnitzki was among 10 survivors at the NHL Awards last week in Las Vegas at the invitation of the league and NHLPA. It was the first time so many Broncos had been together since the crash. They wore Humboldt jerseys and head coach Darcy Haugan http://www.officialpredators.com/authen ... man-jersey , who was killed in the crash, was honored with the inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award.
”They’re your brothers for life now,” Straschnitzki said. ”Just being able to see them, it’s like time froze. You’re in the room again, you’re just enjoying the moment being with them. We all heal in our own ways. Just being with them at the NHL awards was amazing.”
Tom Straschnitzki said he’s tried to keep his son’s spirits high during the grueling rehabilitation process.
”When he’s down, we just try to push him back up and keep him on the straight and narrow,” he said.
Straschnitzki dreams of hitting the ice again, this time playing sledge hockey – basically hockey on sleds for players with physical disabilities.
”It’s my life, so I’d love to do it,” he said.
Straschnitzki has never wanted to distance himself from the sport he’s played since he was a boy. But finding his way back to hockey in any capacity perhaps remains a distant goal.
”I know it’s going to take time,” he said. ”I just need to be patient.”
BOSTON — The Boston Celtics had no way of knowing how much they would get out of Kyrie Irving in the upcoming playoffs.
Now they know.
News broke midday Thursday that Irving will undergo another procedure on his left knee Saturday, the removal of two screws and treating of an infection that will remove him for the rest of the season.
“The hardest thing to do sometimes is accept the uncontrollable things life throws at you Youth Antonio Brown Jersey ,” Irving said in a statement on Instagram. “You try consistently to learn, grow, and prepare every day to equip your mind, body, and spirit with tools to deal with some of those things. …
” … This season was only a snapshot of what’s to come from me. Trust Me. “The journey back to the top of Mt. Everest continues.”
The Celtics host the Chicago Bulls on Friday night in what is close to a meaningless game. The Toronto Raptors have a magic number of one to clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference after beating the Celtics on Wednesday night in Toronto. The Bulls will be watching the playoffs on television.
Irving will need 4-to-5 months of recovery.
This procedure comes after a first surgery done March 24 to remove a wire from the knee.
“In this case,” Irving said on Instagram, “finding out I have an infection in my knee is definitely a moment that I now accept and move past without holding on to the (sic) all the what ifs, proving the nay-Sayers (sic) completely (expletive) wrong, and accomplishing the goals I’ve set out for the team and myself.”
The Celtics reportedly signed guard Jonathan Gibson on Thursday to fill out the roster for the final four regular-season games, but he is not likely to be eligible for the playoffs.
Irving joins Gordon Hayward and rookie Daniel Theis with season-ending injuries.
In the second spot in the conference, the Celtics, who will see the Raptors clinch with a Toronto win or Boston loss Cameron Meredith Jersey , will face the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards or Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. All three could be troublesome without Irving — the Bucks beat the Celtics on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.
Irving, also on Instagram, said, “Let’s go Celtics!! Celtics fans, I look forward to hearing how loud it gets in the TD Garden during the playoffs and experiencing how intense the environment gets. Thank you all!”
The Bulls (27-51) have followed a seven-game losing streak with three straight wins.
“We’re going out there and try to win every game,” rookie Lauri Markkanen said after his 24 points helped the Bulls to a win over Charlotte on Tuesday night. “I hope we can keep this thing going.”
Markkanen’s comments were in response to a suggestion his team is hurting its draft position by winning these games.
They held on for the win over Charlotte with coach Fred Hoiberg sitting Markkanen and other regulars in the fourth quarter — a tanking decision that didn’t work out.
“You want your guys to go out and compete at the highest level and we’re doing that across the board right now,” Hoiberg said. “We’ve got so many young guys and they’re still learning their way in this league. They want to compete.”
The Celtics (53-25) lost the opener of the season series with the Bulls 108-85 on Dec. 11 in Chicago but have won the last two. None of the three meetings have been decided by fewer than 16 points.
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