By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Hockey, its brutal on the body, there is no denying that. Broken bones, separated joints, and lots and lots of stitches are all part of the territory in this sport.
Andy Van Hellemond, who is in the Hockey Hall of Fame for refereeing 1,475 games, more than anyone else in the history of the NHL, has certainly had his share of bumps and bruises. In one incidence as an NHL referee, Van Hellemond collided with Larry Robinson which resulted in a Van Hellemond suffering a broken hand, 3 broken ribs and a separated sternum. He also spent five weeks in the hospital with a badly pinched nerve that effected his lower torso.
According to Andy, he didn’t have feeling in his right leg for long time. In a recent Washington Post article he stated that health-care workers would put pins and needles in his leg up to his hip and he could not feel a thing. Nerve flow to the leg was completely blocked.
It was a chiropractic adjustment that saved his career, according to the Washington Post article. Van Hellemond is now the NHL director of officiating and is in charge of overseeing everything associated with referees and linesmen in the NHL.
Andy Van Hellemond retired following the 1996 Stanley Cup Final. He set several NHL records during his career, including most games officiated (1,475), most playoff games (227), and most selections to work the Stanley Cup finals (19).
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