By Ryan McCracken on February 17, 2017.
A return is in sight for Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman David Quenneville.
The offensively gifted blueliner has resumed skating and practising in full gear after having his leg broken in a shot block against the Regina Pats on Jan. 3, and says with any luck he’ll be back in a little over a week.
“I still have a ways to go but it’s really exciting to be out there in full gear. It’s the closest I’ve been in a while,” said Quenneville, adding he plans on returning before the end of February, barring any setbacks. “It’s still kind of up in the air. Monday was supposed to be two weeks, so maybe next weekend.”
Quenneville added he’s been progressing over the past week. After dealing some serious pain in his first few times back on skates, he says he’s starting to feel a lot more comfortable on his healing leg.
“It’s coming. I’ve had two similar skates where we’ve done pretty similar drills and the pain has been significantly reduced and it’s feeling good. Now it’s just continuing to let it heal.”
The injury cut a career year short for Quenneville, though he still has a chance at making franchise history with a swift return to action. His 20 goals on the year put him in a class of just four other Tabby defencemen to break the 20-goal mark in a season, while 12 more would tie Kris Russell’s record 32 goals. What’s more, he’s still third in defensive goal-scoring despite missing 18 consecutive games. He’s fallen from first to eighth in the defensive point-scoring race — 18 points back of Regina’s Connor Hobbs — since having his leg broken, but Quenneville’s main priorities aren’t of the individual nature. The 19-year-old Edmonton native is itching to return, but only if he’s 100 per cent ready, which makes the success his team has been having of late all the more welcoming.
“It might give me an extra couple days, especially with how we’re playing,”said Quenneville. “We’re playing some great hockey and the biggest thing, I find, is the consistency in our game. We’re playing both ends, I know Shaun(Clouston, head coach) has been really preaching that lately and we’ve been doing a really good job following it. I’m really proud of the group.”
The Tigers are back in action tonight in Swift Current against the Broncos. The puck drops at 6 p.m.
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