Coyotes star had emergency surgery at HSC

Boedker ruptured his spleen in Jan. 18 game against Jets


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PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mikkel Boedker was hoping to play a little golf over the NHL all-star break, but instead found himself recovering from emergency surgery and bunking at a friend’s house in Winnipeg.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/01/2015 (2926 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mikkel Boedker was hoping to play a little golf over the NHL all-star break, but instead found himself recovering from emergency surgery and bunking at a friend’s house in Winnipeg.

The Arizona Coyotes’ leading scorer took a hard hit from Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart on Jan. 18 and ended up on an operating table later that night.

The 25-year-old Denmark native arrived at Health Sciences Centre for what he thought was going to be a routine MRI and was subsequently rushed into emergency surgery to staunch internal bleeding and remove his ruptured spleen.

CP Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker felt a bit queasy, but had no idea he was seriously injured after being hit on Jan,. 18 against the Jets.

“I got hit awkwardly behind the net and didn’t think much of it. Felt like I lost my wind and kept on playing, but turned out it was more serious than that,” said Boedker. “A bit of a scare. After the hit the wind was knocked out of me for a bit. But when you play, the adrenaline goes through you and I didn’t think much of it. My rib cage hurt a bit and I tried to play through it. Played the second period out. Got into the dressing room and needed a bit of attention from the medical staff.

“They looked at it and they couldn’t find much. I was just uncomfortable. I went back out for the third and I couldn’t do much with the puck. I didn’t feel comfortable being out there so I went back to the dressing room. The doctor came and looked at me and he just said ‘We should get an MRI just to make sure.’ They couldn’t get it at the arena, they didn’t have the MRI machine, so we had to go to the hospital. We were kind of in-between about whether I should go since they couldn’t find anything wrong. The Winnipeg doctors insisted on us going, and it was critical that they did that. I can’t thank them enough for making sure.”

Dr. Swee Teo and Dr. Ron Steigerwald examined Boedker at the rink and Dr. Ethel MacIntosh performed his surgery at HSC.

“I’m lucky to be treated so nice and so well. It’s underrated what they do. People don’t realize the effort and the job they do,” said Boedker. “All the star players get all the credit in the world, but without (the medical staff), the league wouldn’t be running and the players wouldn’t be healthy enough to play and perform the way they do.”

Boedker saw a consecutive games-streak end at 257 — the fourth-longest in Coyotes history. He leads Arizona with 28 points and 14 goals and had scored five goals in four games before the injury.

Boedker doesn’t remember much from the night of his surgery.


“At that point I was in so much pain that it was a blur. I remember telling our trainer just to call my parents and make sure that they know what was going on. They’re back home in Denmark, so it’s a long haul for them to come here,” said Boedker, who had a career-high 19 goals and 32 assists last season.

“I wanted them to call them to let them be aware of the situation, that I was going into surgery. I didn’t think it was an emergency. They rushed me to the hospital. I didn’t think it was that bad, but now looking back on it, I realize it was an emergency.

“Nobody said anything (about what would have happened if I had got on the plane back to Phoenix). They didn’t get much into detail, but I was bleeding on the inside. It was pretty bad. I’m really happy and thankful the doctors made sure I got to the hospital and got taken care of. They made me listen to them, and not just be a hockey player. To be a person and listen to them. It’s not about hockey at the time, it’s about your health.”

Boedker stayed in hospital until last Thursday before moving to the house of a friend he did not want to identify. Boedker played junior hockey in Kitchener for the OHL’s Rangers before joining the Coyotes. He says his treatment in Winnipeg is typical of what he’s experienced in Canada.

“I remember the nurse took the bandage off from my scar and she said, ‘It looks nice and they did a great job.’ I expected 10 stitches, but I didn’t realize it was from under my chest to my belly button, with staples. That was interesting. You think something, and then it’s completely different,” he said. “They did an unbelievable job. The people at the HSC were unbelievable. Everyone in Canada is all about hockey, so they all wanted to talk hockey. They’re big fans of the Jets and they were good people.

“I think I’ll have good memories of Winnipeg. They made my hospital visit and surgery a good one. Again, I can’t thank them enough. I know my family back home is appreciative of what they did. It’s a scary memory. But when people ask, I’m always going to say it happened in Winnipeg.”

Twitter: @garylawless

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