Demers undergoes emergency surgery

YVAN MARTINEAU, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

MONTREALó Former NHL coach Jacques Demers is facing a new challenge after undergoing a second surgery in an Ottawa hospital on Monday.

Demers, who was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in August 2009, is in stable condition.

A press release said that the latest surgery was an emergency operation.

Sources have confirmed that the first surgery, which was performed on June 29, was to treat a hernia. The second surgery was required to deal with complications from the first operation.

"We are concerned, obviously, when a person has to be operated on twice in a short time," said Line Tessier, Demers' assistant. "But Mr. Demers' condition is stable, he is doing better and better. His recuperation over the coming days will determine the length of his recovery time."

Tessier said Demers is in good spirits and is "constantly trying to remove the oxygen mask that doctors recommend he wear because he wants to communicate more."

Demers, who won the Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, insisted a statement be released about his health.

"Mr. Demers does a lot for the people around him," said Tessier. "His wife is at his side, his brother, Michel, will come see him on Thursday."

Serge Savard, a former Habs star defenceman and general manager who hired Demers as coach, said he was worried about Demers.

"Problems from a hernia, that's not supposed to be serious," he said. "I don't like hearing that there were complications. I had three operations after my serious leg injury in 1971. But I was 23. Really, I was concerned and upset to hear that."

Demers will turn 66 next August.


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