Just back from a quick trip to a near empty Duluth IceForum. Did an interview with Angelo Esposito for a story later today (online)/tomorrow (newspaper).
He was in good spirits. He did a workout and will have surgery tomorrow on his re-torn ACL.
Sounds like it was a freak accident. He was going to the net and got his skate stuck and his knee just buckled. He thought it was just a sprain until three days later when an MRI revealed the tear.
“I’ve been talking to friends and family,” Esposito said. “That’s what helps me move forward in this. It took me a few days there and now I’m feeling good. I came here and started working on my knee to make sure I get it strong before surgery and then I will do whatever it takes after surgery to get it even stronger.”
Tough break for the 20 year old. He intends to have the surgery, rehab and get back on with his career.
Thrashers are in Toronto tonight. Here are a couple quotes from Garnet Exelby about the possibility of facing his old team courtesy of Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun:
How badly do you want to play tomorrow?
“It would be great. … I’d like to play here every night, but obviously I’ve been a spare part since the start of the season. I have a few friends coming to down so it would be definitely nice to get in. I’m not happy sitting out every night, bottom line. The team (Leafs) has been doing better absolutely, which is great, but I don’t want to be a spare part, sitting around the press box, secluded from the team. And that’s the position I’m in right now.
“It’s funny how things change that way I guess. When I was in Atlanta last year, things were going well at the end of the season. Now I’m here and I’m not playing. It’s not the way I expected to come to Toronto and start my tenure with the Leafs, but that’s the way it is right now.”
Best memory of Atlanta?
“My best memory is starting the playoffs there, the only playoff games they’ve had. From when I started there, to get (to playoffs), seeing the support of the fans over those few years and reaching the playoff climax was great for the team and the city. The fans deserved to see an NHL playoff game and hopefully they can get back there.”
Also when I was at the IceForum, I finished taking behind-the-scene pictures of the facility. Couldn’t get into Don Waddell’s office – the door was locked – but I will be able to show you the locker room, weight room, player’s lounge, John Anderson’s office, etc. All those things behind the red door. One of the pictures will feature Kari Lehtonen riding the stationary bike as part of his rehab. Look for that in the next day or two.
Was that the real Mike Knobler that checked in on the previous blog? Get to work Mike.