Page 1 of 1

Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:54 pm
by greybeard58
Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury after simple fall during practice

By: Rob Olson
POSTED: DEC 06 2018 05:16PM CST


UPDATED: DEC 06 2018 08:57PM CST

ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A local hockey coach is in the hospital tonight with a brain injury after a fall at practice and it doesn’t look like he’ll be going home any time soon.

His family is now putting out a reminder for everyone to stay safe on the ice.

Tony Christiansen has known and coached with Harv Graczyk for about 15 years. So when he heard his friend suffered a traumatic brain injury after a simple fall during practice, it shocked him. Seasoned skaters take simple falls all the time, Christiansen says.

“Easily, if you’re doing a demonstration or you’re skating around, you can catch an edge, hit one of the gouges and boom, down you go,” Christiansen said.

The night of Nov. 26, the 67-year-old Graczyk was finishing up a peewee practice when he caught a groove and dropped backwards. He split his head open on the ice and wasn’t moving.

“It’s just that it happens that quickly,” said Blake Graczyk, Harv's son. “You don’t think of it happening to you and when it does, it can be catastrophic like it is in this case. It happens in a blink of an eye.”

A GoFundMe campaign for his family has been started because it’s unknown how long his recovery will last and how much lost wages it’ll mean for him and his wife.

Graczyk was in the ICU for a week and he’ll be hospitalized for an unknown amount of time and will need at least a month in a rehab facility after that.

12 years ago, U.S.A. Hockey made it mandatory that coaches wear helmets. This year, they upped the penalty to a mandatory 30-day suspension.

Graczyk, like so many coaches, follows that rule but doesn’t snap his chin strap. When he fell, his helmet fell off on the way to the ice.

“It’s very common to just throw the bucket on and go out and there’s no strap,” said Blake Graczyk.

What his friends and family urge now is, when you’re on the ice, wearing a helmet doesn’t help if it’s not going to stay on.

“It just shows you how important it is to have your helmet secured, because if it were, he probably still would have had a concussion, but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near this level,” Blake Graczyk said.

Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury after simple fall during practice ... g-practice

Re: Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:32 am
by nofinish
I remember when they first made the helmet rule. Some coaches got a petition going to fight the rule but it seemed silly to fight something that would save lives. I put it on and strapped it on. Glad I did when shortly after the rule came out I landed on my back and head while coaching squirts when a kid I didn't see slid and took out my legs. Got up, swept the snow off and moved on.
Strap them on coaches.

Re: Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:03 pm
by blueblood
Coaches - please secure the chin strap, The helmet is basically useless without it.

Re: Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:25 am
by Crusty
Unfortunately Harv passed away, RIP Harv

Re: Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 am
by zooomx
My wife was skating with the kids on the local outdoor rink about 10 years ago. She was wearing a fairly heavy stocking cap. She caught a groove and fell backwards and hit her head. She had a brain bleed. Took her out of work for 4 weeks, then the day she was going to get back to work she developed Bells Palsy. Missed another couple of weeks. 10 years later, she still has mild side effects from that injury. I fought coaches for quite a while after that about wearing and securing their helmets.

Thoughts and prayers for Harv's family, friends and the kids he coached. Absolutely adore these coaches who continue to give back to the game by coaching, whether they have a kid in the game or not.

Re: Hockey coach suffers traumatic brain injury

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:08 am
by elliott70
Coaches - helmet and chin strap are mandatory in MN. Penalty for not wearing helmet or not snapping it on is a MANDATORY 30 day suspension.

Please we do not want to lose another good man/woman.