DETROIT – Two days after massive hits were all the talk in a classic tilt against the Rangers, a Calgary Flames player took another one Wednesday night.
But this one could have killed him.
En route from a local casino to meet his Swedish teammates for dinner around 6 p.m. ET, Rasmus Andersson was hit by a car while going through a crosswalk on a scooter.
His teammates say he doesn’t have a clear recollection of the entire incident, as he woke up surrounded by medics, who took him to a local hospital where he went through a battery of tests and was released later that night.
The bottom line is he’s OK.
He remains with the team, but won’t play Thursday against the Red Wings.
“Scary moment, for sure,” said Mikael Backlund, who went through some anxious moments while waiting for news of his pal’s whereabouts and condition Wednesday night.
“We didn’t know what was going on or what happened – scary stuff,” added Elias Lindholm.
“He was at the casino, playing a little bit, and was on his way back to dinner.
“Was just texting to see if he was going to show up, because it was getting pretty late.
“He texted us and said we could go ahead and eat and he’d be there soon.
“Then we didn’t hear anything.”
It wasn’t until Andrew Mangiapane entered the restaurant that they received news of the nearby incident, as Mangiapane’s fiancé had spoken to Andersson’s wife.
“He sent a picture to us (from the hospital), telling us more, and what happened,” said Backlund.
“Shocked. It could have been worse. We’re just happy he’s OK.
“We saw him later at the hotel, and he’s doing better.
“Hearing him say he’s OK made us feel a lot better.”
Andersson was not made available to the media and was deemed “day-to-day” by GM Brad Treliving.
“He’s very lucky – it certainly could have been a lot worse,” said Treliving at Little Caesars Arena Thursday morning.
“Thankfully, we can talk about it today and he’s doing well.
“He won’t play tonight.
“We’ll take this slow. All in all, everything has checked out so far.”
Treliving said the incident left Andersson a “little rattled,” which is why they want to take time to see how he and his body reacts over the coming days.
“Not anything we’re overly concerned about, but he got hit, so we’ll see how things go over the next 24 hours and take our time,” said Treliving.
“I don’t want any speculation – there was no alcohol involved.
“He was solo-riding and going to dinner … and made a decision to jump on a scooter to get there a little quicker, and from what I understand as he was going through a crosswalk, he was struck.”
Calls and emails to Detroit Police Department spokespeople were not immediately returned, but it is believed there were no tickets or arrests.
“Be thankful, that’s for sure,” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter.
“I’ve had those calls before. Not always good. Gives me shivers to talk about. Been on the bad side of it.
“It kind of puts it in perspective in a hurry.”
The incident raises the debate over the safety of scooters around North America, where the rise in such incidents coincides with their rise in popularity.
“I see it all the time, I live downtown – it’s more than just players riding around on scooters,” said Sutter when asked if he was OK with players riding them.
“It’s their right.
“Downtown, it’s probably easier to get a scooter than Uber most times.”
Several Flames players enjoyed riding around on the scooters years back when they were first introduced in Nashville and St. Louis, but Lindholm said he doesn’t partake.
“No, I do not,” he said.
“I just walk or take an Uber.”
Andersson’s incident puts an end to the NHL’s fifth-longest iron man streak at 323 games, behind Phill Kessel (1,034 games), Brent Burns (730), Johnny Gaudreau (345) and Ryan Suter (342).
His loss is a big one as he is among league leaders in ice time, while playing a crucial role as both a power-play quarterback and penalty killer.
Sutter confirmed Chris Tanev will replace Andersson on the top pairing alongside Noah Hanifin.
Nikita Zadorov and MacKenzie Weeger will be the second unit, and call-up Dennis Gilbert will play with Michael Stone.
Weegar will replace Andersson on the second power-play unit.