Plenty of people around these parts have been commenting with news on Max Talbot's return to the lineup. We learned last week that Superstar was cleared for contact and edging closer to a return. Rough speculation had him pinned at maybe another 7 - 10 days. Again that's sheer speculation. As you'll learn after the jump, even Max never set an exact return date for his recovery. Though he does admit that he's progressing nicely and feels his return is near.
As always with these great translations I have to thank Pensburgh reader Becky. Her word-for-word effort keeps us all in the loop with the latest Max Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury news straight from their own keyboards.
Take the jump to read Max's latest installment.
I’m getting close to returning
For the first time since my shoulder surgery, I’ve been given the green light by the doctors to take hits. So I took part in my first practice without the red jersey, and it went very well. In fact, I can tell you that it’s not the hits that bother me, but rather the movements involved in faceoffs and backhand shots. I’m working on these shoulder movements to improve the situation.
From the very start of my recovery, I’ve refused to set a precise date for my return, and I’m sticking to that approach. The progress gets better every week and I can feel that it’s coming.
You are familiar with my personality, so you can imagine that I’ve been eager to get back to playing for a long time now, but this feeling is even stronger with my team’s three losses. It’s been a difficult situation from the beginning, and it’s even more so since we’re losing guys in battle. Inevitably, the trainer starts asking me: "So, will you be ready soon?" I’ll admit that it’s nice to be wanted, but it does add a bit of pressure. Still, I want to be sure to come back in perfect health, since that was my objective in undergoing the operation.
More severe punishment?
The 30 general managers of the NHL have decided to make some changes regarding hits to the head.
As a player, I will be able to form an opinion on these modifications once I know what rules will be altered. Personally, I don’t think we need to radically change the rules. I am of the opinion that it would maybe be a good thing to punish headshots more severely, but one mustn’t forget that hockey has always been a fast and physical sport.
The league managers should be careful, because players will be afraid to hit if too many rule changes are made. I think that our sport is in a good place with the current rules. It is true that injuries happen, but sometimes it just comes from a combination of circumstances.
That said, attention must be paid, because we don’t want to see a player die on the ice.
Some NHL athletes have asserted that players are aware when they are going to hit a player in the head, and that it would be possible to avoid such contact. I agree in part to these comments, but I have to add a caveat, because things can change very rapidly in the heat of action. It’s true that you have control over the hits you make, but it depends on the situation. There are examples of players who didn’t want to hit their opponent in the head but weren’t able to avoid it.
It is wrong to claim that all the players want to kill their opponents. However, there are some players who are nastier than others, and you have to be vigilant when you come up against them.