October was not a good month for Yukon’s two professional hockey players.
Haines Junction’s Reid Campbell has been sidelined with a concussion and Whitehorse’s Jordan Lane released from his contract.
“I felt good at the time and everything was going well, but I took a weird shot to the side of the head and it knocked a couple screws around,” said Campbell.
“The symptoms are going away, but I’m still not 100 per cent,” he added.
“I’m going to work that much harder to get back to, maybe not that team, but maybe in the same league. I felt like I could have been on the team if I didn’t have this injury. It’s just making me want to try that much harder now.”
Campbell, who signed with the South Dakota’s Rapid City Rush this past June, was concussed with an elbow to the side of the head during his team’s season-opening exhibition game against the Colorado Eagles on Oct. 11.
The 25-year-old defenceman hasn’t played since for the Central Hockey League team. He is still signed with the team but has been removed from the roster.
“Because I got hurt in camp, they took me off the roster because who knows how long it could take,” said Campbell. “It’s been a month now, almost, and I’m still working on it. It’s getting a lot better, but they took me off the roster so I wouldn’t use up a roster spot for however long it will be.”
Campbell finished his college playing career last year winning his third NCAA Division III national title with the St. Norbert College Green Knights in Wisconsin. He was hoping to secure a spot on the Rapid City roster for the regular season by displaying his defensive prowess during the team’s two pre-season exhibition games but only played about eight shifts before getting injured in the second period of the opener.
The team currently has just one first-year pro on the roster and also has second-year pro Kyle Stroh who played with Campbell at St. Norbert College. Before St. Norbert, Campbell played four seasons with the Powell River Kings in the British Columbia Hockey League.
“It happened in the first exhibition game and I haven’t been cleared by doctors yet so I’ve been busy with rehab and that kind of stuff, trying to work my way back into it,” said Campbell.
“Who knows what’s going to happen, if there’s too many D-men or something like that, or everyone’s healthy, then I might have to find another place (to play). It’s all been pretty up in the air. It’s frustrating, but that’s how it goes.”
Lane’s fourth season of pro hockey was halted before it began. California’s Bakersfield Condors, in East Coast Hockey League, released the six-foot-eight 240-pound forward just before the regular season opener on Oct. 17.
He was one of four players released by the team, which is affiliated with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s not he first time I’ve been waived from a team, it’s the way things go in the hockey world,” said Lane.
“There’s a surplus of players right now. There were quite a few guys sent down who are under contract, whether it be in the American league or under the NHL contract. And Bakersfield, being part of the organization, has to honour those contracts.”
After four seasons playing major junior, the 25-year-old played for the CHL’s Evansville IceMen in 2010/11, New York’s Elmira Jackals in the ECHL in 2011/12 and for CHL’s Quad City Mallards in Illinois last season.
“I’m just waiting to hear back from my agents and other people as to what options are out there, whether it be Europe or back down to the East Coast (Hockey) League,” said Lane. “I have irons in the fire at a few different spots, so I’m just waiting to see what comes up.”
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