If wishes from fans and friends were a curative salve, Mason Raymond’s compressed vertebrae fracture would already have healed.
Unfortunately for Mason and his supporters, time is the only real healing agent right now. Officially, the team announced shortly after the Stanley Cup Finals concluded that he needed 3 or 4 months to heal. Of course, every individual has a different genetic make-up, as well as ability to come back from such devastating injuries. But most doctors will tell you that an injury, and subsequent rehabilitation, rely heavily on the patient’s mental composition and outlook. Those that are able to foster a positive outlook often help speed up their recovery.
Along with his wife Megan, Mason was seen at the Calgary Stampede last week (pictured) taking in some of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Long-time friend and minor hockey teammate, Straws Milan, was a competitor at the event, taking home prize money in the steer wrestling event with a 4.1 second take-down. “He’s getting around better than he was,” stated Milan. “But getting in and out of the truck on the way here, I felt so bad for him.”
Raymond politely declined talking to Calgary Herald reporter, Kristen Odland about the state of the compression fracture. But he was seen alternating sitting and standing in the bleachers during the Stampede, and spoke about his friendship with Milan. “We kind of followed each other’s career, obviously him in rodeo and me in hockey,” said Raymond, who grew up in Cochrane, Alberta. “It’s been fun staying in contact. I’m excited to be here this year and watch him participate. We’ve been in the stands previously watching. But it’s great to see him out there now. We rode in today and talked with him about it. Seeing him out there and competing is a big thrill… it’s always been a huge dream of his.”
Raymond was able to give a small synopsis of his condition. “It’s been good, I’m doing well. Every day getting better and better. I’ve been able to come out and do a few things. I enjoy this. I’m in Calgary for a few days. It’s been fun. I look forward to keep improving and moving on.”
With the Canucks not making many major moves so far this offseason, it’s imperative that he continue to improve and heal. If free agency has taught us anything so far this year, it’s that a premium has been placed on top 6 forward talent, as well as top four pairing defencemen. Though Raymond’s 39 point season (15 goals, 24 assists) was considered by some to be a disappointment, his play away from the puck improved. If the Canucks are to make another splash in the playoffs during the 2011-12 campaign, Raymond will definitely be an important cog in the gearwheel that gets them there.