ST. PAUL Minnesota youth hockey player Jack Jablonski, tragically paralyzed from an on-ice accident on Dec. 30, had some surprise guests beside his hospital bed on Monday.
Logan Couture, Jamie McGinn, Joe Pavelski and Ryane Clowe visited the 16-year-old at nearby Hennepin County Medical Center after arriving in Minnesota on their team charter that afternoon.
Pavelski and Clowe discussed the visit on Tuesday morning from Xcel Energy Center, where the Sharks play the Wild later.
Its amazing how strong the family is, their spirits, and Jacks spirits. Thats pretty cool, and it almost lifts you up a little bit, Pavelski said. Its one of those things, you feel for a family like that. You never want something like that to happen, and its just the smallest of gestures that we can do. Hes in a lot of peoples thoughts.
It was sad, and tough to see a kid like that in a situation where hes completely functional as far as being aware, Clowe said. Its a normal conversation, except hes laying there and cant move, so thats a tough situation to see anyone in. But, he was in great spirits.
Pavelski mentioned Jablonskis room is full of hockey paraphernalia from around the NHL, and the Sharks added to that by delivering a team-signed jersey. Clowe said that Jablonski got a call from Wayne Gretzky earlier in the day.
With the hockey community, knowing that we all play a pretty aggressive sport, were all at risk sometimes, Clowe said. I think we realize that when you see something like that, youre pretty fortunate and not to take anything for granted. I think more than anything he never expected anything like this, to get so much support from the whole world and the NHL.
Im happy I went. For five or 10 minutes he was smiling there, and thats worth it."
According to WDAY News, Jablonski had a good day on Monday in a much different and more important aspect than visits and calls from well known hockey players. Jablonski managed to move his arms, something doctors were afraid might never happen again. He promptly asked doctors if he could lace up his skates again.