NHL's All-Appendectomy Team
Ryan Callahan, 2015
On the eve of Game 6 of their second round series vs. Montreal, the Lightning's alternate captain was unable to practice due to abdominal pain. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was diagnosed with acute appendicitis. After surgery he was expected to be sidelined indefinitely.
Jiri Tlusty, 2013
The Hurricanes forward needed an emergency procedure in late December was given the usual two to three week recovery period. He needed the full three.
Max Pacioretty, 2013
Expected to miss three to four weeks after surgery in Montreal on Jan. 26, the Canadiens winger was back in action eight days later.
Brad Richardson, 2012
The Kings' center was sidelined by stomach pain and surgery two days before the team opened its first round series in Vancouver on April 11. His condition was diagnosed by his mother, a nurse who was visiting him when he fell sick. He was expected to miss three to four weeks, but returned to the team eight days later and scored a key goal in his second game back, forcing overtime before the Kings wrapped up the series on a tally by Jarret Stoll.
Jamie Benn, 2012
Stricken on Jan. 15, the Stars forward was expected to miss his first All-Star game in Ottawa two weeks later, but he made it back in time. “If I walk in there on crutches, I figure I might key in for that car,” he joked about the auto awarded to the last player chosen in the All-Star draft. Added Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk: “We just told Jamie to play up the illness. You go out there and look bad, and you might just walk out of there with a car.” Benn was chosen next to last by Team Chara, the car going to Logan Couture of the Sharks.
Patrick Sharp, 2011
On the eve of training camp in September, the Blackhawks forward complained to the team's physician of abdominal discomfort and wound up going under the knife. Expected to need three to four weeks to recover, Sharp was back at practice in 18 days and played for the Hawks on opening night (Oct. 7).
Craig Adams, 2011
After signing a two-year extension with the Penguins in June of that year, Adams was stricken in August. Recovery from surgery in Pittsburgh was set at four weeks, but the veteran forward was ready for training camp that September.
Ryan Stoa, 2011
Only six games after his February call-up from AHL Lake Erie, Colorado's rookie forward needed an emergency appendectomy on March 4. He returned 13 days later and scored the game-winning goal in the fourth round of a shootout vs. Edmonton.
Ruslan Fedotenko, 2011
While sidelined by a separated shoulder he suffered in January, the Rangers winger needed an appendectomy the following month that tacked an additional three to four weeks on to his estimated return. Fortunately he was able to play again by Feb. 25.
Jordan Eberle, 2011
While nursing an ankle sprain, the Oilers' rookie forward had to have his appendix removed in early January. "I've never really been injured and then in two days I kind of got everything," he told the Toronto Sun. "I just woke up in the morning and my stomach was killing me. It was bad. I thought I had food poisoning, originally. I was vomiting and it was a really sharp pain. I came to the rink, checked it out and they said you have to go to the hospital. The doctor said I had appendicitis and had to get it removed right away. If it bursts it could be really dangerous. Within two hours I was on the operating table." Eberle ended up missing a month.
Mike Modano, 2010
After the Stars' 39-year-old future Hall of Famer played eight painful minutes in a game vs. Colorado, it was feared that he would be sidelined indefinitely after surgery on March 15 and miss the rest of what would be his final season with Dallas. He made it back 19 days later and played in the Stars' final five regular season games.
Steve Ott, 2010
Ott the pot-stirring Stars forward missed nearly a month after he developed a post-operative infection that February. Two years later he was sitting in a hot tub with teammate Jamie Benn. "I told him he looked like garbage," Ott told the Dallas Morning News. “And he just looked at me and said, ‘I’m not feeling very well.’ It’s just one of those things, I don’t think there’s a clinical reason why it goes, but it went and it’s actually a pretty tough surgery. But the good thing is the return time is a lot better than expected.”
T.J. Oshie, 2009
Stomach cramps during an October 23 game vs. Minnesota told the Blues forward that something might be wrong, and he was right. Taken to a St. Louis hospital, Oshie underwent surgery and was given a two-week recovery schedule. He was back in 13 days.
Jonathan Ericsson, 2009
Perhaps the land speed record for appendectomy recovery, the Red Wings defenseman missed Detroit’s Western Conference finals clincher vs. Chicago but needed only three days to get back to work. Suiting up for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals vs. the Penguins, Ericsson logged 16:47 of ice time in 19 shifts and was +1 in the Wings’s 3–1 win.
Andreas Lilja, 2008
The Red Wings blueliner had not been feeling well when he missed a practice in mid-October and was taken to a hospital where it was discovered that he had a calcium build-up in his appendix. Like Jonathan Ericsson the following year, Lilja was back on his skates three days later. However, the Wings held him out of action as a precaution until the following week.
Chris Mason, 2008
Mason, 32, was in his first season as the Blues' backup goalie when he fell ill and needed surgery in October. His record 0-1 when he got sick, he returned less than three weeks later only to continue what would become a six-game losing streak en route to 4-13-1 mark by the following January 19. Eventually he regained his form and finished with 57 appearances including four in the playoffs.
Nick Schultz, 2008
The Wild lost one of their top defenders when Schultz, unable to skate in practice due to stomach pain, needed an emergency appendectomy right before the start of Minnesota's first round playoff series vs. Colorado. He was given no timetable for his return, but he made it back for Game 6, just in time for the Wild to be eliminated.
Paul Stastny, 2008
Expected to miss up to three weeks after surgery in mid-January, the Avalanche center's recovery time caused him to miss his first All-Star Game in Atlanta and he did not see action again until Feb. 22, five weeks after he took ill.
Andrew Ladd, 2006
The current captain of the Winnipeg Jets was a 21-year-old second-year player with the Carolina Hurricanes when he needed an emergency appendectomy in Raleigh, NC, in mid-December. He was back in action by January 2.
Grant Fuhr, 1989
After coming out of a brief protest retirement, the Oilers’ four-time Stanley Cup winning netminder complained of stomach pains during training camp in September and was examined by teammate Randy Gregg, who was also a licensed physician. Fuhr needed an emergency appendectomy and missed five-and-a-half weeks. He eventually played in 59 games that season and his career continued until 2000.