January 31, 2015

Gino Odjick Doing Much Better, Reflects On Pat Quinn

Great news from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province today. Nine months ago the hockey world was shocked when beloved former Vancouver Canucks tough guy Gino Odjick was given a year to live thanks to rare heart condition. Now it seems he is greatly improving, and so is his prognosis.

Nine months ago, when his heart was operating at 28 per cent of its capacity, doctors were telling Gino Odjick he might have a year to live.

Today, his heart is operating at 58 per cent of its capacity and the doctors are saying he might have three years left, possibly more.

Odjick says the best part is he can now look forward to a future. He hopes to return to the team in some capacity, possibly scouting.

Odjick also talks about his former teammates rallied around him since he became sick - Trevor Linden, Stan Smyl, Cliff Ronning, Kirk McLean, Garry Valk, Dave Babych and Geoff Courtnall (interestingly there is no mention of Pavel Bure, Gino's unlikely best bud, though he is half a world away in Russia.)

But Gino saves his best reflections for the late Pat Quinn:

“He was a special person,” Odjick says. “He not only made me a better hockey player, he made me a better person. He’ll have an impact on me my whole life.”

Once, Quinn went the better part of 10 days without visiting, and Odjick thought he must have been out of town. He later learned Quinn was in the hospital himself, but he never once mentioned his illness to his former player. In fact, he left strict instructions that Odjick wasn’t to be told about his cancer.

“He never mentioned anything about being sick,” Odjick says, shaking his head. “He went so quick. It was a shock.”

Gino hopes to be well enough to attend the team's tribute to Pat Quinn in March and the article also hints at a possible tribute to Gino later this season as well.

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