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AROUND THE LEAGUE

Attorney Says Heatley Is 'Emotional Wreck'

October 08, 2003|From Associated Press

Atlanta Thrasher Coach Bob Hartley called the team's practice ice a sanctuary, so it was fitting the players kneeled for a prayer Tuesday after their first practice since center Dan Snyder died.

"It's a situation you never want to come across," center Marc Savard said. "It's tough. It's in the back of your mind with every little thing you do."

Snyder died Sunday night of injuries he sustained in a Sept. 29 car crash in which teammate Dany Heatley was driving. Heatley, who was also injured, was charged with vehicular homicide.

With the encouragement of Snyder's family, the Thrashers decided to play their season opener Thursday night at home against Columbus. The team then will fly to Canada for Snyder's funeral in Elmira on Friday.

Earlier Tuesday, Magistrate Richard Hicks said Heatley, who is free on $50,000 bond, would be allowed to travel for the funeral. One of Heatley's attorneys, Ron Samuel, said that as a routine condition of the bond, Heatley must turn in his passport when he returns from the funeral.

Attorney Ed Garland says his client is "an emotional wreck" and is grieving Snyder's death.

Heatley had surgery Tuesday at St. Joseph's Hospital to repair complete tears of the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee, according to team physician Dr. Scott Gillogly, who performed the surgery. Gillogly said he also repaired the lateral meniscus in the knee.

Heatley likely will require a lengthy rehabilitation period that would keep him out this season even if he is legally cleared to play.

Savard promised to win their first game for Snyder, but the coach said hockey is not the priority this week.

"We are definitely facing the ultimate adversity, and we have to face it as a team," Hartley said. "The game now is not about winning. It's about taking care of our family. This is basically our sanctuary right now. Going on the ice is what we enjoy the most."

*

Geoff Sanderson was put on the injured list Tuesday, retroactive to Sept. 15, as part of the Columbus Blue Jackets' roster moves made to get down to the regular-season limit. Sanderson, the team's leading goal scorer last season with 34, injured his shoulder during an intrasquad scrimmage and was held out of all eight exhibition games. He is day-to-day.

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