Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mikael Tam speaks

As a follow-up to my last post, here is some video of the press conference that Mikael Tam, the victim of Patrice Cormier's vicious elbow last weekend, held today in Quebec:

See more from TSN here and here.

First off, it is beyond wonderful to see him out of hospital and addressing the media without any visible ailments, apart from a few missing teeth, given how severe the injury appeared at the time. Remember, the trainer who attended to Tam admitted that he thought the kid was dead. Tam doesn't address his playing future or any possible return date, as it is probably too early in the rehabilitation process to determine. I imagine we'll hear more from him upon learning Cormier's fate on Monday, since Tam was prevented from discussing Cormier or the hit in today's statement. In the minds of Mikael Tam's family, no punishment will likely be severe enough for the man who almost ended their loved one's life, nevermind his playing career. Yesterday, Zack Kassian was suspended twenty games by the Ontario Hockey League following this hit on Matt Kennedy, who is now considering retirement at age twenty after sustaining his fifth concussion.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of the whole video is when he talks about wondering if his family and friends would stick by him in the case of a life-altering injury; I can't begin to imagine how lonely and painful that must have been.

The worst part of the whole clip, however, was having to watch replays of the hit in the background. I found myself turning away from the television when I saw it on Sportsnet earlier tonight.

As expected, Cormier released an exclusive statement to RDS denying any attempt to injure Tam, but took responsibility for his actions and their consequences. He also claimed that he has tried to contact Tam on several occasions to express his remorse, but was prevented from doing so by the Remparts.

Needless to say, I wish Mikael Tam a speedy and successful recovery and hope to see him playing again someday soon.

There's also the small matter of the Flames dropping their sixth straight game and falling into ninth place in the West, but I'll address that at another time (i.e. tomorrow).

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