Because of the privacy in the NHL and NHL Players Association rehab program, teammates didn't know why Boogaard disappeared for a month in 2009. Everybody was told he had a concussion, "and Derek was embarrassed and ashamed. He didn't want anybody to know," said Ryan, who believes that the only person on the Wild that knew his brother was in rehab was GM Chuck Fletcher, who helped arrange the trip to L.A. with agent Ron Salcer.
The Globe and Mail talks about the KHL and some of the more questionable aspects that have occured, and mention that players and agents are worried. Also in this article, they now say that Alexander Galimov has burns on over 90% of his body.
"I have never been a big proponent of guys going over to play in the KHL," Allan Walsh said in an e-mail. "It’s not just the air travel. [New Jersey Devils winger] Patrik Elias almost died in Magnitogorsk during the lockout when he was stricken with hepatitis and his liver shut down. He was in a crumbling hospital packed with seriously ill patients and subpar medical treatment."
And it’s clear that some players are feeling uneasy in light of this week’s air disaster.
In an interview Thursday, Richards estimated that half the NHL has already adjusted its thinking about head shots and won’t have difficulty heeding Sidney Crosby’s call to eliminate them from the game.
"The problem is, half the league has to keep a job and if they don’t do it, they might not be playing the next game," Richards said. "You have to involve everybody – coaches, management, the league. Everybody has to buy in. If a coach is a little less hard on a guy because he didn’t take a guy’s head off, then that player might buy in, too."
Brian Muir, who won the Cup with the Avs in 2001, says that he didn't feel safe on Russian planes.
Winnipeg native and former NHLer Bryan Muir, who also played hockey in Russia, said flying on planes in that country was often a frightening experience.
"I said a little prayer every single time," said Muir, who played in the Russian league in 2008.
North American players talked and worried about the old planes and equipment all the time, he said.
It's that well-rounded, durable game that he wants to show off to the Avalanche once he leaves the city on Sunday.
"You can take a lot way from a camp like that," he said. "Obviously, you want to put your best foot forward and go in with the mentality that you're going to stay in the NHL. If it means I come back to Saskatoon in the end, I have to learn what I can from the older guys and their experiences.
"Hopefully that'll make me a better hockey player and be able to take me to the next level."