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NHL NEWS – Kevin Hayes also lived through Chris Kreider’s scary situation

August 14, 2019

Kevin Hayes also lived through Chris Kreider’s scary situation When Kevin Hayes was asked about the scary situation his good buddy Chris Kreider is facing, he reached for his left hip. “You know,” he told The Post on Friday morning, “I had the same thing when I was in college. I had compartment syndrome, there was a clot there before in my leg.”. It’s unknown just exactly what Kreider had besides a blood clot in his right arm, that kept him out of his first full game Friday night, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings at new Little Caesars Arena. But it was a shock to the system when he left a Garden match Wednesday against the Capitals after the first period when the swelling in his arm got too bad to ignore. There was no real update from Alain Vigneault on his status. The coach tried Thursday night to call Kreider but got a voice mailbox full with what were presumed to be countless well-wishers. If the situation requires surgery, then the timeline would be around two months. As for Hayes, he was just happy to have survived. As a junior at Boston College, having just spent the previous year with Kreider when they won a national championship, Hayes took a knee to his left leg in a game Feb. 26 and thought he had a charley horse. His team lost the game, and in the locker room afterward, he still didn’t have any feeling below his knee. He passed out, and when he woke up, he was in the hospital where a doctor told him he was going in for emergency surgery. He had been just eight hours shy of needing his leg amputated. The hit had popped blood vessels because of the pressure of the clot, creating enough swelling that all the blood was stopping at his kneecap. Compartment syndrome happens when some sort of injury creates pressure in an area and restricts the blood flow. After the surgery, Hayes was in the hospital for 18 days. He touched the point of his left hip and then about halfway down his thigh — “I have a scar like this long,” he said. And he shakes his head when thinking about his friend who might be going through something similar. “It’s scary stuff that you can’t really see it,” Hayes said. “You’re not going to go get a CAT scan every day and say, ‘I’m clot free.’ It’s something you can’t really feel when you have it. It’s a serious injury, and luckily they found it at the time they did. That stuff can really affect you a lot more if you don’t care of it.”. Kreider, 26, had been an integral part of the Rangers this season, tied for second on the team with 11 goals and adding 11 assists while playing all of the first 37 games. His speed was integral to their transition game, and his size and strength made him their best net-front presence, especially on the power play. But at this point, with a timeline the team is only calling “indefinite,” the on-ice stuff is secondary to the bigger picture. “With the expertise that we have medically, it’s very unfortunate what happened, but he’s got the best help possible,” Vigneault said. “I think if you’d ask any one of his teammates or his coaches, we just want him to get healthy. Not quite sure exactly what it is, but health is the most important thing as this time.”. That sentiment is something Hayes knows all too well, having been there and gone through such an ordeal himself. He’ll miss Kreider on the ice for however long he is out, but more so, he hopes his buddy gets back to living a normal life soon. “It sucks that he’s out that long,” Hayes said. “He’s an important player for this team, for this organization and this fanbase. But I think everyone should be thankful they found it that early.”. Forward Vinni Lettieri made his NHL debut and scored a goal after being called up from AHL Hartford on Thursday as Kreider’s replacement. Lettieri’s grandfather, Lou Nanne, who played 635 games in the NHL, was in attendance, as were his grandmother, parents, sister, and a friend of his dad’s. They were shown on camera close to tears when Lettieri netted one through traffic at 2:35 of the third period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. “I want to thank them for coming out,” Lettieri said. “It was pretty nice for them to come and happy I was able to put one in while they were here.”. There were early rave reviews for the Red Wings’ new arena, and Vigneault even brought his team down for a rare morning skate to get the lay of the land. “The new ones have their little cachet, as we say in French, their little special things,” Vigneault said. “Obviously this one is huge and it’s got a lot of moving parts to it. But at the end of the day, the one thing that doesn’t change is the 200-by-85 [ice surface], and that’s what our guys play on and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”.

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