Friday, December 19, 2014

Months After Horrific Accident, Corey Sarich Contemplates Return to Hockey

Looking for a hero to pull for in the second half of the 2014-2015 NHL season? How about Corey Sarich? The former Stanley Cup champion (with Tampa in 2004) and veteran of 969 NHL games is currently skating again after suffering multiple injuries in a horrific bike accident in July. Sarich sustained five broken vertebra, gruesome road rash and a deep head wound after a Ford F-350 ran him while he was out training on his bike in British Columbia.

Read More About Sarich's Accident Here

But less that five months after the injury that Sarich admits thought would kill him, the 36-year-old Saskatoon native is skating and hoping that some NHL team will give him a chance to finish out his career on his own terms.

“Everyone thinks I’m still getting around in a wheelchair,” he told Elliotte Friedman of SN on December 17. “I’m a realist, what I’ve been through probably scares a lot of people. Banking on a 36-year-old coming off back surgery and run over by a truck, who knows what it does to people's minds? I didn’t get off to a good start but by the end of last week, I felt about as normal as I can. Just need a little more conditioning."

He told Friedman that he knows if he doesn't get moving now, it might be too late by this time next year.

"I can do everything physically I wanted to do. My wife [Reagan] is a rock. She said 'do it now, because if you postpone, it will be harder and harder.' If I wait until next year, there will be zero interest, having gone a year without playing. "If I was going into a training camp right now, I would be so optimistic. Even if I’m not going to play right away, I would be okay with a reserve role, working on everything I need to work on. I just need guys to skate against. Can’t be choosy. If somebody wants to give me an opportunity, I’m ready to go.”

Sarich, who had his 2013-14 campaign ended by back surgery, had been told by the Avalanche that they would not be offering him a contract. He says he was back to 100 percent this summer and had been hoping to be signed with another NHL club by August before the accident.