By: Daniel Nugent-Bowman, the StarPhoenix, Sept. 1, 2011
Saskatoon, SK

David Greyeyes doesn't remember much about the incident that has kept him away from the sport he loves for nearly two years. But he sure remembers the aftermath.

Constant headaches and hardly being able to exert any physical energy without vomiting were all side effects from a serious concussion he sustained in training camp with the Prince George Cougars in 2009.
The hit from behind, administered by a teammate, quelled what was a budding career.

"It was awful seeing all the different doctors and having no answers for it," said the now-20-year-old defenceman, who starred with the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League's Beardy's Blackhawks midget AAA team the season prior to the injury.

"There are no answers for it, it's just time. You have to give it time. That's what I heard for a year."

He was close to giving up on his hockey dream, until his headaches finally subsided in April. But now, after a long and painful recovery period, Greyeyes is ready to make a comeback with the SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves.

He was close to giving up on his hockey dream, until his headaches finally subsided in April. But now, after a long and painful recovery period, Greyeyes is ready to make a comeback with the SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves.

When the headaches went away, he turned to local trainer Ryan Sadoway - a man who also served as an assistant coach for the Saskatoon Blazers against Greyeyes's Blackhawks - to help get him back to his former self.

"His linemate for Beardy's was Jesse Forsberg and David was supposed to be a go-to guy for (Prince George)," said Sadoway, who also billeted Greyeyes during his midget year. "He was a scoring sensation.

"I coached Jared Cowen. Carter Ashton was on my team before ... Luke Schenn. David was as skilled as any guy."

Sadoway had to take Greyeyes back to square one in his training regimen.

What started with occasional light stationary biking, while making sure Greyeyes was pain-free, turned into a more rigorous workout plan designed to cut his weight from 242 pounds down to his current 208.

"The frustrating part was not being able to work out and being physically active like I'm used to being," said Greyeyes.

Because of his concussion issues, Greyeyes opted to play in a less-strenuous situation than the WHL, much closer to where he grew up in Muskeg Lake.

The blue-liner was a fifthround pick of the Swift Current Broncos in 2006 but struggled to adjust to the WHL game, playing just nine games in two seasons. He then suited up with the Cougars for two games in 2008-09.

But his struggles didn't transfer to his play with the Blackhawks.

Playing against the likes of Jaden Schwartz, Brandon Gormley and Sean Couturier, the six-foot defenceman picked up 17 points during the 2007-08 season as an underage midget. The next year he finished with 73 points, good for second in league scoring behind teammate and current Edmonton Oil Kings leftwinger Dylan Wruck.

Thanks mostly to his power-play chemistry with Wruck, Greyeyes used his strong vision and heavy shot to establish goal (34) and point league records for defencemen.

He also won a youth Aboriginal award that season for his community work, founding a lacrosse program at Blaine Lake Composite School.

After that season Blackhawks general manager Mel Parenteau figured the WHL, and likely professional hockey, would be in Greyeyes's future.

"He has that potential if he sets his mind to it," he said. "Now that he's back, it's a big year for him."

The Ice Wolves acquired Greyeyes from the Yorkton Terriers shortly after his injury.

Head coach and director of hockey operations Bob Beatty had been trying to obtain Greyeyes even prior to the concussion and believes the low-risk gamble could pay dividends thsi season.

Greyeyes even got the blessing of a Montrealbased concussion specialist and is cleared for contact - at least once a separated shoulder heals, which he sustained last week while training horses with his brother at Marquis Downs.

"He's a player who has a pretty good track record obviously," Beatty said. "He was a tremendous player in midget hockey at Beardy's with the Blackhawks.

"After missing two years of competitive hockey, David's got a great attitude about it. He knows he's got a lot to prove. In meeting with him, I was totally impressed with the way he was approaching it."

While Greyeyes said he hasn't ruled out the possibility of trying to play in the pro ranks after this season, he is mindful of his concussion.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

To see original story and for other StarPhoenix SJHL stories, click here.
9/5/2011 11:03:37 am

Is Greyeyes shown up

Daniel Fink
9/5/2011 11:26:59 am

Apparently he's scheduled to arrive in the next week or so. Like the article says, he hurt his shoulder and is still recovering.

9/5/2011 11:42:21 am

sounds good

Comments are closed.