Jump to content

Freak snowblower accident to sideline Sakic three months

Kanada Kev

Recommended Posts



Freak snowblower accident to sideline Sakic three months

By Adrian Dater and Terry Frei

The Denver Post

Posted: 12/10/2008 10:36:10 AM MST

Updated: 12/11/2008 09:28:16 AM MST


Colorado Avalanche center and captain Joe Sakic takes part in the teams' skate in this April 7, 2007 file photo. (David Zalubowski, The Associated Press)

Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will be sidelined at least three months, the team said this morning, after he suffered three broken fingers and tendon damage following an accident at his home involving a snowblower.

Sakic underwent surgery with a local hand specialist Tuesday night, the team said. Sakic suffered the injury Tuesday afternoon at his home. Sakic already was on injured reserve with a herniated disc in his back before the snowblower accident.

Sakic reached inside the "auger" of the snowblower to remove snow. The machine's power was off when he tried to fix it, according to the team. According to the consumer products safety commission, snowblower injuries are common.

Avalanche vice president Jean Martineau said the

Colorado Avalanche accident happened to Sakic's left hand, and that severe tendon damage occurred to one finger. That same finger and two others were broken.

"Basically, it's a mistake. He's a 39-year-old adult who made a mistake," Martineau said. "He put his hand where he should not have put it. He's, in a way, lucky. He'll have a full recovery."

Martineau said he visited Sakic in an unidentified hospital this morning, and that he was "very upset with himself."

"He's very, very mad at himself. I've never seen him like that, and I've known him for 21 years," Martineau said. "He knows he made a mistake."

Avalanche coach Tony Granato said Wednesday morning at Family Sports Center: "We heard last night that he had the accident at home. The first thing you worry about is he all right. Fortunately, the surgery went well. You always worry when things like that happen, you worry about the worst things that could (happen). But he came out of it pretty good, he's going to be able to heal, that's the positive thing about it."

Granato said he hadn't yet spoken to Sakic. "I plan to real soon. Hopefully, I'll be able to get hold of him. Whenever you get hurt, you're down no matter what. I'm sure he's real down, but again, the one positive thing is that the surgery went well and he's going to do his rehabilitation as fast as he can to try and get back in three months."

The Avalanche coach said he isn't concerned that Sakic, who pondered retirement in the offseason, might have played his last NHL game. "That's just because of Joe," Granato said. "I know Joe, from the standpoint of he's going to do everything he can to get back. If there's anyone who's going to get back quickly, or in the amount of time he's supposed to, it will be Joe. So, no, I'm not worried about that."

If Sakic comes back in exactly three months, the Avalanche will have 16 games remaining. The other issue is where Colorado will be in the standings at that point, whether still in realistic contention for a playoff spot or otherwise, as Sakic faces decisions on how soon to return to the lineup — or whether to return at all.

"The one thing you realize as a coach and an athlete, there's injuries and you never really have a full, healthy lineup and that's just part of being in professional sports or probably any sport," Granato said. "How you handle those situations or how you step up to the challenge, it's an opportunity for other guys that we feel very comfortbable having in the lineup."

Granato smiled when he was asked if he owned a snowblower himself. "I have a shovel," he said. "I split the duty with the kids. It's a fun family thing with the kids. You take turns."

On the issue of whether Sakic should have paid someone else to clear snow, Granato said: "I didn't think about anything like that. Again, when accidents happen, you always wonder, 'Why did I put myself in that situation?' The most important thing, like I said, is he's fortunate the surgery went well and in a few months, he'll be back to normal."

Granato said the Avalanche won't put the captain's "C" on anyone else, and that Ian Laperriere, Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny would continue in the roles of assistant captains. "I think we have plenty of leadership in there," Granato said. "Obviously Joe is the ultimate captain in professional sports and has been our captain for a long time and in this organization, so we're not going to replace a C right now. We're going to stay with the same system."

The Avalanche said Sakic will not discuss the accident with the media until Dec. 23, after the team returns from a four-game road trip. He is expected to leave the hospital by this afternoon.

According to a 2005 Consumer Products Safety Commission study, snowblowers were the "fourth leading cause of finger amputations" at more than 1,000 per year and more than 5,000 emergency room visits. And, that from 1992-2005 there were a reported nine deaths from snowblower accidents.

Adrian Dater: 303-954-1360 or adater@denverpost.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...