By Ellen Chlumecky
April 6, 2015
Football, rugby, lacrosse, wrestling, boxing, field hockey, and of course hockey are all very rough, high contact sports. There is always debate on what the roughest sport is and most importantly what sport has the toughest athletes. I’m sure there’s cases for all the above but most recently hockey has proven it’s worthiness for the toughest sport overall. This recent prestigious honor is due to Drew Miller of the Detroit Red Wings.
Drew Miller is the most recent example of the toughness that is demonstrated daily by hockey players. This incident was so fatal that Miller and his teammates feared he’d lose his right eye. On Tuesday, March 31st, the Red Wings played against Ottawa. Miller was standing behind Mark Stone and took a skate to the face, because Miller wears a visor it cut up the majority of his face pretty bad. Miller needed 50 to 60 stitches to close up the gash on his face. While Miller initially thought that he had lost his eye, the doctors cleared him and mentioned that his vision is fine. Miller wanted to go back in for the third period against the Senators but the doctors and his wife advised against the decision because of the fear of ripping the stitches.
Miller is now sporting a deep scar from his right eyebrow across his cheekbone. The whole cut was very deep especially in the cheek area. The eye itself is fine. Doctors have enforced him to wear a protective cage for a while, but he is convinced that he can still perform his duties on the ice.
If that wasn’t enough, Drew Miller suited up to play for the Red Wings in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Boston at Joe Louis Arena. The day he decided to suit up for the game was only just two days after a skate to his face. While this may seem absurd to most, it would be more painful for most hockey players not to play than to sit out with an injury. That’s how badly they want to play and help their teammates.
Hockey players push the boundaries beyond belief. Their passion to their craft is unmatched by any other sport. While I’m sure other athletes have shown just as much dedication, there is a unique aspect to hockey players’ dedication. Coach of the Red Wings, Mike Babcock, called the incident the definition of team building. While fellow teammate of Miller, Brendan Smith, stated, “I’m not sure how to say this, but no wusses play. It’s a tough sport and I think that’s why it’s ingrained at a young age. If you don’t want to play a tough game, you go play tennis or golf.”