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When I got home today I was excited to see that the Masterton Trophy nominees had been announced because I thought for sure that I would see Teppo’s name among them. But what did I see? HUH? You really want to know? THIS, THIS IS WHAT I SAW.
I’m sorry WHAT!?!?!?!
Chris Chelios? Re-he-heally?
Dear Hockey Gods,
Do you hate Buffalo that much?
Because I’m pretty sure that fracturing your tibia (the larger bone in the lower leg) is nowhere equal to having your chest cracked open and having your still beating heart poked and prodded by a lot of sharp instruments.
I know Chelio is 47 and yeah it’s great that he’s still playing all the power to the old guys but seriously shouldn’t he be using his hockey stick as a cane by now? He played 28 games this year and didn’t register a point but APPARENTLY he played a big role behind the scenes which was obviously enough to warrant his nomination for an award that is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey”. Just because the guy is old doesn’t mean that he deserves to be recognized for it. Let me know when I can come at his beating heart with a scalpel I’ll be first in line.
The other finalists were Steven Sullivan who suffered a back injury in 2007 and had two back surgeries to correct the problem. He is one of three players to have played for a team, missed 600 consecutive days and return to the same team. The other is Richard Zednik who’s life was almost tragically cut short here in Buffalo when his former teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate hit him in the throat, severing his carotid artery. (Scariest moment of my life right there)
It’s not like I expected Teppo to win being up against the guy who had his throat cut open and almost bleed to death on the ice and another who broke his back and after almost two years returned to active duty. But Teppo deserves every ounce of respect that he gets from his teammates, the coaches and his fans. He could have hung up his skates after last season and no one would have blamed him. But he chose to come back for the last game of the season to prove that he still had what it takes to be a player in the National Hockey League.
I’m predicting, to no ones surprise, that Richard Zednik will walk away with the trophy and if he doesn’t it’s a great disservice to him and to the doctors and medical staff that made it possible for him to even play again.