The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/23/14 at 04:43 AM ET
Red Wings prospect Mitch Callahan posted a rather infamous "selfie" after taking a puck to the mouth some six weeks ago, suffering a broken jaw and losing eight teeth after taking a Ryan Sproul slap shot to the face. I'm posting the Tweet minus piture here, and you have been warned as to its graphic nature--lots of blood and guts follow, and it's gross.
Callahan had to have surgery to repair his jaw, and he did return to the Grand Rapids Griffins' lineup for their playoff run while wearing a full shield and between dental appointments. His mom came to Michigan to help him deal with the wires in his jaw and the soft-food (and probably liquid painkillers, which taste just dreadful) diet:
At one point, Callahan made a joke about his lisp...
And after praising his roommate--the same guy who took out his teeth accidentally...
He confirmed something we all know all too well:
He got back into the lineup...
Managed to take some so-smiling socialization pictures...
And after expressing hope that the Texas Stars would find themselves in a boatload of trouble...
He found himself busy doing something else entirely after the Griffins were eliminated and given an off-day in Austin:
After even more dental work...
Thursday, he revealed the finished result:
To his great credit, Callahan's retained a positive attitude throughout his experience, and during the Griffins' locker room clean-out day, telling Fox 17's Steve Amorose and Red Wings TV that he's got no problems whatsoever with being waived and sent to Grand Rapids again. He just wants to remain with the organization and to earn his way onto the Wings' roster, and I think that's an incredibly mature--and brave--thing for an agitating forward to say.
I took Mitch's injury kind of personally. I've spoken to him at summer prospect camps and fall prospect tournaments since he was drafted five years ago, and when my interviewing skills were far less polished, Callahan was always willing to talk as my fall-back option, or just to talk, period.
I may not be a close associate, but I've always felt that he was one of "my" prospects, and because we were fellow hockey players (me, a former one due to injuries and a lack of health insurance) "talking shop," Mitchell Callahan (as I tend to call him) served as one of the people who helped me learn to be at ease talking to professional hockey players, of the present and aspiring varieties.
Mitch is the kind of player you want to have on your team and the kind of guy who once volunteered to man the dunk tank at a chartiable event in mid-July, getting dunked for an hour in freezing-cold water to raise funds for Bryan Rufenach's charity. He's gritty and competitive as hell on the ice and self-effacingly funny and personable off the ice.
I wish him all the best, and I will readily admit that this Mitch Callahan fan hopes that "Cally" earns a spot on the Wings while wearing his Tomas Holmstrom set of teeth.
Holmstrom will tell you that there's nothing wrong with having a second (or third) set of choppers. They get better every time.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.