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Mumps, welding torch burns and popcorn disasters: The NHL's oddest medical issues

Anaheim's Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin were diagnosed with the mumps late Wednesday – and if you think that's an odd affliction for an NHLer to be dealing with, you need to see these four other unexpected medical situations NHLers have had to face.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

The Anaheim Ducks announced late Wednesday that star right winger Corey Perry and cornerstone blueliner Francois Beauchemin had (a) been diagnosed with the mumps, (b) are in various stages of treatment for the viral infection and (c) are sidelined on a day-to-day basis (Perry is considered closer to returning). Mumps aren't a normal diagnosis for any NHLer, but over the course of league history, there have been a handful of out-of-the-ordinary medical situations like this to confront players. Here are a few examples:

• In 2009, Bruins center David Krejci was separated from the team during the season and quarantined with the H1N1 virus (a.k.a. the swine flu) until he stopped showing symptoms or a fever. Krejci was one of five NHLers (including Doug Weight, Ladislav Smid and Peter Budaj) to contract the virus that season. None of the affected players suffered serious aftereffects.

• It was the summer of 2000 when defenseman Sami Salo was bitten on the right calf by a venomous snake while golfing at his off-season home in his native Finland. Complications from the bite caused him to miss two games for the Ottawa Senators that October. Salo went on to suffer a slew of injuries over the years, but this one was the oddest of them all.

• Hartford Whalers left winger Sylvain Turgeon suffered burns to his eyes in 1988 when he stared at the flame on his welder’s torch while working on his car. Turgeon returned to play for another six seasons, but he is likely to be the only NHLer to deal with a welding-related injury.

• In 1987, St. Louis Blues winger Mark Reeds received second-and-third-degree burns on his hand...while making popcorn at home. He had been heating oil in a pan and when he lifted the lid, it burst into flames and sprayed oil on his right hand. Reeds maintained a good sense of humor about the incident afterward, saying he’d analyzed what happened and concluded the cause was “stupidity”.

• And in the most frightening example, in 1991, a Montreal AIDS specialist shocked the hockey world when he revealed a patient of his who’d died from the disease two years earlier told him she had slept with approximately 50 NHLers. Players on at least one team were quietly tested for the H.I.V. virus during the 1991-92 campaign, with none testing positive. But given how little was known about the disease at the time, it absolutely petrified players.



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