Denna Laing, as many of you know by now, was the Boston Pride player who was stretchered off the ice at the Women's Outdoor Classic. Her condition was kept private for a while, and so we all feared the worst. Today, Denna's family and the NWHL released a statement about her condition. What follows is from the press release. All of Stanley Cup of Chowder (and I'm sure, the entire Hockey community) wish her all the best, and hold out hope for recovery.
Here is the statement from her family:
Denna was thrilled to be taking part in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League and was absolutely delighted to be one of the pioneers in a breakthrough moment for her sport – the Outdoor Women’s Classic. Tragically, Denna suffered a severe spinal cord injury playing the sport she loves. As of today, Denna has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs. Our prayer going forward is that Denna can be moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a Rehabilitation Center and continue to fight everyday with her trademark grit and resolve. With respect to her long term prognosis, right now there are more questions than answers. We have received an incredible outpouring of love and support from countless friends and family members while we try to navigate this overwhelming situation. We are eternally grateful to everyone who continues to offer support as we take on this challenge together.
NWHL players will wear a "24" sticker on their helmets to honor Denna Laing, per NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan:
The players, teams, coaches, management and staff of the National Women’s Hockey League are united in their support of Denna Laing and her family. To reflect our admiration for her as a player and our appreciation for her contribution to the NWHL’s first season, we are working with the Laings, our business partners and others to respond compassionately and appropriately to her injury. We will announce further details as soon as plans are formalized. Denna's drive to excel has inspired teammates and coaches alike; in honor of that attribute, I have directed our teams to wear a helmet sticker bearing her uniform number, 24.
Gary Bettman pledged the support of the NHL:
While we are certain Denna will be served well by the tenaciousness that is her trademark, we also will work with the Laing family to rally the support of the hockey family during Denna's rehabilitation.
Cam Neely, Geoff Molson, and Bob Kraft also pledged support and solidarity as Denna navigates rehabilitation.We will keep you updated with more as we hear it.
For now, you can send your written or financial support at her page, dennalaing.org