NHL notes: Comeback on Eric Wellwood's mind

Philadelphia Flyers' Eric Wellwood celebrates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals...

Philadelphia Flyers' Eric Wellwood celebrates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during their NHL hockey game in Washington March 4, 2012.(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:24 PM ET

Eric Wellwood doesn't know whether he will ever return to the NHL.

Currently skating with his hometown Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, the 23-year-old forward is working his way back after suffering a gruesome injury last season with the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

"Where my head's at is to play in the NHL," Wellwood told the Cherry Hill (N.J.) Courier Post. "If I can, obviously it's great. If I can't play in the NHL, then I may have to take a different route to hockey. Maybe coaching. That question doesn't have an answer just yet."

Playing with the Phantoms on April 7, the Flyers' 2009 draft pick was killing a penalty when he crashed into the boards after losing an edge. His right skate made contact first, then his left. His left skate then went up his right leg, cutting him badly.

"Welly," teammate Jon Sim called out, "Look at your skate. It’s full of blood!"

Wellwood initially thought he had ruptured his Achilles tendon, but knew he was in trouble and left his skates in the locker room and wrapped his right leg in gauze before being transported to hospital by ambulance.

Not only did he cut four tendons, including the Achilles, but also an artery and nerve.

"I was starting to pass out in the ambulance a little bit," Wellwood said. "I was starting to get weak. At the same time, your body is in shock, too. I knew I wasn't in good shape, let's put it that way."

Wellwood spent six weeks off his feet, his right foot elevated at all times. Then six weeks in a walking boot with crutches.

Still unable to walk normally, Wellwood is on skates but not 100%.

"It almost feels better in my skate because my ankle is locked in and it's not as mobile," Wellwood said. "If I start to skate as hard as I'm capable of, it starts to hurt a lot."

But he is not ready to call it a career and hang up his skates.

"The timeline was a year of recovery. I'm at nine and a half months right now."

BRODEUR MAY NOT RETIRE

Martin Brodeur may have one more season in the tank and it could play with another team.

"My heart is," Brodeur told the Bergen Record when asked about his future. "My body could be a different story. We'll see."

The New Jersey Devils goaltender, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, may not be in the Devils plans with Cory Schneider waiting in the wings as their next No. 1 goalie.

"That's something that more and more I see, regardless of if it's wherever because I'm done after this year with my contract," he said. "Depending on what's going to happen in the next few months, if I feel my body's (willing), I'll see what's best scenario for me if it's back in New Jersey or somewhere else. That's something the future will bring.

"But right now my heart is here to try to finish strong and prove that I can still be a big impact in hockey games."

The future Hall of Famer will turn 42 on May 6.

HOWARD HURTS HIP IN WIN

Jimmy Howard is sitting out Sunday's game in Anaheim with a hip flexor injury.

The Detroit Red Wings netminder turned away 44 of 45 shots in his 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings late Saturday.

Head coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com that Howard hurt his hip flexor and backup Petr Mrazek was going to start in Anaheim against the Ducks on Sunday.

Howard, however, said he was fine and will dress as the backup.


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