Jarome Iginla has never been through it.
And the Calgary Flames captain is thankful to have avoided concussions throughout his career.
His friend and former teammate isn’t so lucky. Marc Savard being shut down for the remainder of the season after sustaining a second concussion in 10 months might hurt the Boston Bruins, but potentially save the crafty centre’s career.
“It’s beyond hockey. You want to be healthy,” Iginla said. “From what I hear, the headaches and just not feeling normal in your everyday life is some of the toughest stuff.
“It looks like the right move. Take the time and get healthy.
“You hear terrible stories. You hear stories from different guys over the years about just sitting in the dark. How tough it is.
“I haven’t gone through it. But hearing stories from guys that have, I think for the average person who hasn’t gone through it, I don’t think we can really know what they’re experiencing.
“It’s bigger than just getting back to hockey and playing on the ice and trying to win. Your health is obviously the most important.”
Robyn Regehr, who also played with Savard when he was a Flame, has battled through a concussion, and his brother Richie has dealt with more than one of the severe variety.
“It’s a tough injury. I’d say one of the toughest injuries to come back from,” Regehr sid. “When people see you at a glance, they think you look normal, but you aren’t yourself a lot of the times. You do not feel very good at all.”
Savard has suffered depression in addition to the many symptoms of post-concussion syndrome.
Iginla will be in touch with his old friend sometime soon. In the meantime, he’ll appreciate his own health even more.
“It’s so much fun to play. I know we take it for granted sometimes,” Iginla said. “You think of the tough times when you’re not winning and it’s not going your way on the ice, it’s still a great time. It really is.”
Pranks for the memory
Lance Bouma’s NHL debut came with a twist.
As the team headed to the ice for warmup, Bouma was the first to step on the surface, with goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stopping the line and leaving the rookie alone for a few laps Saturday night.
It was a prank, but for the many members of Bouma’s family watching at the Saddledome, it was more treat than trick.
“They loved it. They thought that every rookie got that. They didn’t really know. I told them it was a prank after the game but I think they knew,” the Provost product said with a laugh. “They thought it was kind of nice to see me out there just doing a couple of laps by myself.
“You kind of realize right there you made it to the NHL.”
Unlike MIkael Backlund, Bouma has yet to experience anything else, like baby powder in the vents of his car, or stolen clothing.
But if he hangs around long enough, he’d welcome the hazing.
“That’s a good thing if I get more pranks.”