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Minnesota High School Hockey Player Paralyzed


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Unfortunate result from "accidental check from behind".

The neurosurgeon who operated on Minnesota high school hockey player Jack Jablonski, who was paralyzed when he crashed head first into the boards during a game last week, confirmed Thursday that the 16-year-old will never walk again and is "very unlikely" to regain movement in his arms from the elbows down.

"Hopefully he is going to prove me wrong," Dr. Walter Galicich said in a press conference Thursday at Hennepin County Medical Center. "But we can't expect much recovery."

The Benilde-St. Margaret's (St. Louis Park, Minn.) sophomore had surgery Wednesday to fuse damaged vertebrae and the procedure went well, but it also confirmed the catastrophic damage to his spine.

"This news is devastating to Jack and everyone who loves him," Jablonski's parents wrote on his CaringBridge website late Wednesday. "Our hope and dream is that he will be able to prove this prognosis wrong."

Jablonski has been in critical condition at HCMC since the incident last Friday and has been immobilized with a halo. Prior to surgery, he had regained some movement in his right shoulder and upper arm.

Jablonski was hurt on a hit from behind in the third period of a junior varsity game between Benilde-St. Margaret's and Wayzata during a holiday tournament. While skating after the puck, Jablonski was hit by two players, according to JV coach Chris McGowan.

"His face slammed against the boards and his body was straight up and down," McGowan said after the game.

"It wasn't a booming hit," Wayzata JV coach Duke Johnson told the Star Tribune. "Was it a check from behind? Yes. Did our kid take eight strides and then hit him? No."

Jablonski, who scored a goal earlier in the game, was a member of the Benilde-St. Margaret's varsity team, but was playing with the JV over the holidays to get more playing time.

Benilde-St. Margaret's announced that Thursday's varsity hockey game against Wayzata has been canceled.

ESPN
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Hey buddy @AlaskaFlyerFan,

That link has been taken down. Sad story, I found this update: http://espn.go.com/high-school/story/_/id/7424789/paralyzed-minnesota-hockey-player-jack-jablonski-undergoes-surgery

I wonder if he's any relation to Pat (?) Jablonski the goalie from the late 1980s/early 1990s?

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Hey buddy @AlaskaFlyerFan,

That link has been taken down. Sad story, I found this update: http://espn.go.com/h...dergoes-surgery

I wonder if he's any relation to Pat (?) Jablonski the goalie from the late 1980s/early 1990s?

How you doin', Pods?

I had some trouble with it before I posted but it was still working. Here is the article.

Too Soon for Another Wayzata-Benilde JV Hockey Game

Sophomore Jack Jablonski suffers paralyzing injury

Updated: Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012, 7:36 PM CST

Published : Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012, 3:46 PM CST

MINNEAPOLIS - Wayzata and Benilde-St. Margaret’s have canceled their Thursday night junior varsity hockey game, agreeing it’s too soon for Benilde JV squad to play after sophomore Jack Jablonski suffered a paralyzing spinal injury when the team met Friday.

Minutes into the second period of Friday's game against Wayzata in the Holiday Hockey Classic, Jablonski chased a puck into the corner with two Wayzata players trailing him.

An accidental check from behind left 16-year-old Jablonski motionless on the ice at the St. Louis Park Rec Center. Doctors initially thought he suffered a bruised spinal cord and two broken vertebrae, but Monday they said his spinal cord is actually severed.

They don’t know if Jablonski will walk again.

The Wayzata and Benilde varsity hockey team will still play Thursday as scheduled, at 7p.m. at the Plymouth Ice Arena. There will a moment of silence before the game in honor of Jablonski. There will also be a fundraising effort for the Jablonski family

Tuesday, the Minnesota State High School League sent a note to all hockey coaches, officials and athletic league administrators on Tuesday urging them to renew safety efforts with their teams.

”As you are probably aware, a member of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys’ hockey team was injured in a junior varsity hockey game last week,” the note said. “In that contest an inadvertent check from behind resulted in the severe injury. This situation reminds all of us in the hockey community to renew our efforts to emphasize the elimination of hitting from behind in hockey and to emphasize proper contact techniques.”

MSHSL makes the following recommendations:

Coaches:

  • Daily remind your hockey players to eliminate checking from behind.
  • Prior to checking or contact drills, emphasize proper checking and contact technique.
  • Before every game and every period remind your team to be aware of hitting from behind situations and to stay away from those situations.
  • Be grateful when officials enforce the rules which will make the game safer for all involved.

Officials:

  • In your pre-game meetings with captains and coaches emphasize appropriate contact and checking.
  • Prior to each period talk to the captains or coaches to again remind them of the points of emphasis.
  • When there are checks from behind do not hesitate to make the call—you are protecting all of the players involved.

Hockey Players:

  • Remember what your coaches and the officials have taught you—stay away from checking from behind situations.
  • Remind each other to keep it clean and hit the brakes when you see the numbers on the back of the jersey.

Read more: Too Soon for Another Wayzata-Benilde JV Hockey Game http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/wayzata-benilde-jv-hockey-canceled-jan-3-2011#ixzz1iXiE8knG

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I'm doing ok @AlaskaFlyerFan. Back at work after a restful holiday but super busy at work with some new responisbilities (much as I tried to keep my head down) and not as much time to devote to this forum or hockey in general. Tonite is a rare exception it seems, so catching up and watching the Jets-Habs game.

What about you? What's new in your world?

Go Flyers

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@hf101

@Podein25

@AlaskaFlyerFan

I admitting haven't thought this through but is it safe to say that the speed of the game is the ultimate cause of the increase of severe injuries. So either you have to slow the players down or make everything around them softer: softer shoulder pads & more padding in helmet. Which leaves two hard surfaces (that don't have any give at all) - the ice and the boards.

The ice is rarely a cause of injuries especially if you are able to redesign the helmet to add more padding.

That leaves the boards. There has to be a way to make the entire wall structure similar to the way the glass gives a little when hit.

An entire plexi structure that is see-through would actually be nice to see the puck on the near walls also.

Just a thought.

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So either you have to slow the players down or make everything around them softer: softer shoulder pads & more padding in helmet. Which leaves two hard surfaces (that don't have any give at all) - the ice and the boards.

The ice is rarely a cause of injuries especially if you are able to redesign the helmet to add more padding.

That leaves the boards. There has to be a way to make the entire wall structure similar to the way the glass gives a little when hit.

An entire plexi structure that is see-through would actually be nice to see the puck on the near walls also.

@Digityman: excellent comments. I agree it is the only way to go, but I don't know what it looks like. I think boards DO give, somewhat, but it varies by arenas. There should at least be a standard, which there isn't. Nor is there for glass, yet. That would be a start.

But speaking of "softer," I'm reminded of a comment that Phil Esposito said a few years ago, viz. that back in his day, with rare exceptions (e.g Bobby Clarke who was a fitness fiend compared to most players) everybody was fat. When they got hit, the fat kind of absorbed the impact. Now think about the last time Hartnell was injured? He's very durable (80 or more GP 6 of his last 8 years). I think there is some truth to what Espo was saying. Some.

EDIT: has Hartnell ever had a concussion? Prolly, but not a bad one I bet. Since his brain, which is a muscle, is also fat, he's got protection.

Edited by Podein25
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Devastating news:

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/wellness/136697323.html

In a statement issued Thursday morning, the neurosurgeons who operated on Jablonski Wednesday summarized their conclusions, saying that "spinal cord damage of this type is irreparable with surgery" and "often leads to the inability to move the arms and legs."

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Last night the Wild honored Jack Jablonski before the Sharks game. His little brother was the Wild flag bearer wearing Jack's #13 jersey. Some good news was given by his mother who said that Jack had some movement in his arms yesterday. He was able to bend slightly his elbow and push his arm out.

Keep Jack and Jenna Privette (a second Minnesota hockey player that's facing paralysis after a hockey injury) in your thoughts and prayers.

Puck Daddy also wrote this piece.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/player-hit-paralyzed-jack-jablonski-wins-prize-during-230202127.html

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