Worrying part of the job

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

For NHL players, bumps, bruises and serious injury are hazards of the job.

The wives and girlfriends who watch them may understand the risk but watching a significant other get pounded at work isn't the easiest task.

"You do worry they might get hurt," said Katie Fairbrother, the girlfriend of Toronto Maple Leaf Matt Stajan. "When Matt gets pushed around or hit or something, I might grab the leg of whoever I am sitting with."

Partly due to her husband's size and largely due to his feisty style of play, Shannon Tucker may have more to worry about.

The way Darcy plays, she is used to long nights and long seasons as the nagging injuries pile up.

While Shannon says her husband gets great care from the Leafs medical staff, she does her part on the homefront to try to keep him healthy.

"Darcy likes to eat healthy and eat well and I try to make sure he does that," Shannon said. "He takes it all very serously. As he is getting older, he looks after himself better than when he was younger.

"I try to take care of him as much as I can that way when he's at home."

When the team is on the road, the prospect of dealing with an injury can be harder on the family.

It's one thing to see it happen live at the Air Canada Centre but quite another to see it on the television screen and anxiously wait for reports.

They don't have to wait too long for the updates as the Leafs support staff is quick to check in.

"They'll call and let us know exactly what happened," Fairbrother said.

Added Tucker: "The team is great when it comes to that stuff."


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