Terry Ryan in good spirits

Nicholas Mercer
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Despite injuries, hopes to return to action should team make Herder final

Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs speaks with CeeBee Stars forward Terry Ryan  at Carbonear General Hospital the day after Ryan suffered a fracture rib and a collapsed lung in the team's Game 4 matchup with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts in Harbour Grace.

Veteran forward Terry Ryan knew something was wrong the moment he went down in the first period of a 2-1 overtime victory for the CeeBee Stars over the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts on Sunday, Feb. 24.

“I got hit and then I heard the break, as if you broke a wishbone in my ears,” the 36-year-old says from his bed at Carbonear General Hospital on Monday, Feb. 25.

Ryan appeared to be in good spirits, despite severity of his injuries, which includes a factured rib, and a punctured and collapsed lung.

Early in the opening frame, Ryan was skating back to the CeeBees bench on a line change and felt an impact from Cataracts’ defenceman Greg Hoffe. There was no penalty on the play, which was away from the action.

Whether it was a cross-check, a spear, as initial reports indicated, or just a simple punch, Ryan was not sure.

All he knew was that his right side hurt.

Running on pure adrenaline, Ryan stayed on the bench, and answered the call when his next shift rolled around.

He attempted a dump-in shot and realized something wasn’t right.

 “I knew then I was in over my head,” Ryan says over the sound of hospital equipment humming in the background.

He returned to the bench, and then made his way to the dressing room.

Moments later, an announcement was made over the public address system, requesting that a medical doctor — if there was one in the stadium — to report to the dressing room.

Ryan says he could barely breathe.

“I had never had that before. I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t surprise me that my lung collapsed.”

A day later, Ryan still has trouble breathing and has a plastic tube running out of his side and into a pump. The pump is drawing air from around Ryan’s lung to allow it to expand.

Ryan received a text message from Hoffe, wishing him well and apologizing for the incident.

It’s not known how long Ryan will be in the hospital, but one thing’s for sure — he will not be in the CeeBee Stars lineup for Game 5 in Grand Falls-Windsor on Friday night.

The CeeBees hold a commanding three games to one series advantage.

“There’s no way I can play this weekend,” he says. “But, if we win this weekend, man, I’ll play with anything. I’ve played with some crazy injuries.”

Ryan says he desperately wants to hoist the Herder Memorial Trophy.

The last time he played for the crown jewel in Newfoundland and Labrador senior hockey was a decade ago.

“I’ve won a provincial title in Alberta, been to the Allan Cup final, but there’s still something left. I want a Herder,” he says.

If Ryan is healed from his collapsed lung in the next three weeks, and the CeeBees can finish off the Cataracts, he could be back in the lineup for the second weekend of Herder play.

“Now, I could be out to lunch, it could be three months, I don’t know,” he says. “Once the lung gets better, it’s dealing with a cracked rib.

“Let’s say three weeks from now, I put an unbelievable pad there. I just want to get on the ice and help … whatever I have to I’ll do it. I just want to be a part of it.”

Fan support

In the short time Ryan has been in the hospital, support has been incredible.

Ryan is one of the team’s most prolific when it comes to social media, and continues to have a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook, posting regular updates from his bed.

He’s received numerous messages of support from fans and friends.

“It’s comforting as a player,” says Ryan. “It really does feel like the community is behind us.”

Finding out

Ryan was in the emergency room at Carbonear General when he found out Ray Dalton had scored the overtime winner in Game 4.

While he couldn’t get great reception on his phone in the waiting room, he could in the bathroom.

Ryan kept track of the game through updates on NL Hockey Talk, a popular message board in this province.

“I was thrilled,” he says. “It’s funny. In these situations, you get that immediate sense of excitement. Not long after that come’s the sense that it’s there, but we gotta finish it off.”


Organizations: Carbonear General Hospital, The Compass

Geographic location: S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium, Harbour Grace, Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium Grand Falls Newfoundland and Labrador Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Clay Morrow
    March 03, 2013 - 12:19

    Terry is away from his job as well. Playing hockey. That's his current job title - hockey player, well currently unpaid hockey player as they are playing for the love of the game in Harbour Grace. Agree that there are more stories that could headline a paper, however how many 1st round NHL draft picks currently play hockey for a paycheque in NL? How many guys signed $1 million signing bonuses and now depend on the Ceebees to put food on the table. It's a story that we as hockey fans like to read. That's how the society works.

  • Cc
    March 02, 2013 - 11:43

    What about the young hockey player from the Southern Breakers, broke his leg. Never hear of The Telegram visiting him after surgery. Out of work and got to watch his team from the stands. Poor Terry

  • Steve Marshall
    February 28, 2013 - 20:39

    to the anonymous Turry from Town and Raymond all I have to say is haters gonna hate and I hope you guys find some peace and joy in some things in your lives. I am delighted that this story was done. It is an exciting time of the year for local hockey and the players battle as hard as anyone to come away with the victory for their fans. Good luck to Terry Ryan all the rest of the players from Novice right up to Senior as the playoffs and Provincial tournaments ramp up.....

  • Turry from town
    February 28, 2013 - 09:59

    I guess Nickolas Mercer idolizes the HERO from Mt.Pearl so much that he wants to put him in the paper.What about the guy who was injured in a donneybrook a week ago? How is he doing?

  • Raymond
    February 28, 2013 - 09:36

    Terry Ryan gets an article in The Telegram because he's in hospital? Are you going to do a detailed, heart throbbing story for every athelete that ends up injured? What a complete slap in the face to all other athelete s in NL. Terry Ryan is no better or different than any of the rest of us. I garuntee if you check with the Janeway there's several young athelete's in there; nursing injuries, or even battling disease. But hey, they aren't washed up has-beens, so who'd want to hear about that? Sickening.

  • ceebee's long time fan
    February 25, 2013 - 17:37

    Always a pleasure to watch Terry play he is a great team player and a great asset to any team he has been on in the past. Hope Terry has a speedy recovery and see him back in notime. Take Care Terry

  • Steve
    February 25, 2013 - 14:01

    Shouldn't there be a rule that a doctor be in attendance for every Senior league game? Terry was lucky to make it, but someone could get hurt more seriously in the future and not be as fortunate.

    • Bill Luffman
      February 26, 2013 - 01:59

      That sure would be a good thing, but who is gonna foot the bill for the doctor being there. We are lucky in Hr. Grace. Dr. Button attends most of the home games. As for him being paid to be there... I don't think so. I think he is just a CeeBees fan that makes it to the game when he doesn't have something more important to do. While I do agree that there should be a doctor in the stadium, I think the expense is something too much for the league to handle. Maybe having paramedics with an ambulance there would be more affordable.

  • Joan Dalton
    February 25, 2013 - 12:54

    I have always enjoyed watching Terry play . He adds so much talent ,experience and entertainment to the game. As a Newfoundlander, it is a privledge to watch our former NHL.players on the ice.Feel better soon so you can heist that Herder with the rest of our team!

  • Hiscocks Taters
    February 25, 2013 - 11:58

    Hoffe is one poutine away from busting. Dirtiest player in the league.

    • Kerri
      February 28, 2013 - 09:55

      Are you serious Hoffe the dirtiest player in the league ? Have you forgot about Daren Langdon , Victor , Gosse ? Greg Hoffe takes a lot of heat because he's such a great defenseman .Could't of been that bad of a hit there was no call made .

    • Laughing stock
      February 28, 2013 - 12:53

      Great defenseman? He's pear shaped. I was at the game, he cross-checked Ryan behind the play as he was changing. He tried to end Dale Sullivan's career last year during the herder. Even told the scorekeeper what he had done. Some people have short term memory loss it seems. Hoffe should be suspended, a headhunter with the speed of a pregnant snail in the sr. league.