The love that many people have for hockey is sometimes viewed as being bizarre and borderline insane. Anyone who tries to introduce the game to people who are unaware sometimes come off looking like cult leaders. All right, so maybe that’s just me, but hockey is the kind of game that when it’s in your system you don’t just let that go, regardless of circumstances.
An amazing story from The Hockey News today hammers this point home. A wounded war veteran was given a choice between keeping his leg and never playing again or having it amputated and continue playing as best he could. Take a guess which way he went.
After he was wounded in Iraq, Joseph Bowser was told he could keep his right leg or have it amputated. If it were amputated, he was told, he would be able to keep doing all things he used to do.
The first thing that came to his mind was ice hockey.
“So,” Bowser said, “I guess I’m the only guy you’re going to meet who had their leg amputated so I could play hockey.”
The retired Army sergeant stood proud on his prosthetic left leg Thursday as the NHL, the Washington Capitals and Verizon Wireless donated equipment to the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.
After a ceremonial faceoff featuring Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr and Capitals assistant coach Bob Woods, about two dozen wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center took to the ice for a clinic. There are 40 service members from the Army and Marines in the program, including 15 who play sled hockey.
“A lot of them never played hockey before,” said Bob Banach, president of the program. “But once they get out there, they realize how much fun they have. It’s all about the camaraderie.”
There’s more to Joseph Bowser’s story, so I can’t encourage you enough to read from him about how hockey has inspired him to do more for the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program. Never let anyone tell you that a hockey fan won’t go to extreme lengths to keep playing the game they love.
You can visit their website by clicking here.
From the Southampton Press:
Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.
According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.
Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.
As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”
He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.
Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?
Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.
Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.
The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.
“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.
The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.
Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.