The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/07/14 at 08:43 PM ET
I tried to avoid posting that gruesome "selfie" Mitchell Callahan shared with the world after losing somewhere between 10 and 12 teeth, requiring surgery for a broken jaw and a visit from "Momma Callahan" ahead of what are certain to be a set of reconstructive surgeries to repair and replace what used to be a gap-toothed smile.
Whether you agree or disagree with the optics--literal and physical--of posting that kind of gruesome content, all I can say is that the world is a very different place for young people, and hockey players in particular have always viewed showing their gory scars as a badge of honor, so we're probably stuck with the, "Warning, graphic content!" comments preceding links on sports websites forever.
To me, someone who's been speaking with Callahan every summer since a week after he was drafted, the hardest part of the picture to take was the glazed-over look on his eyes, because it was evident that the young man's injury had sent him into shock.
Callahan's of course feeling a little less introspective about the implications of his work, and instead, he tells the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (per RedWingsFeed), via email, that he just did what came naturally:
“I realized it wasn't great when teeth were just falling out of my mouth. And the puddle of blood didn't help either,” Callahan said in an email exchange Monday, April 7, with The Grand Rapids Press/MLive.com. His jaw is wired shut, limiting his speech.
Asked why he did it, Callahan replied, “I posted it because a lot of people were asking me how I was, so I just decided to throw a pic up.”
Callahan still isn’t sure how many teeth he lost. He already was missing his front two teeth.
“I believe I lost one for sure up top and about seven or eight on the bottom,” he said.
As for his initial reaction to the injury, Callahan wrote: "As soon as the puck hit me, my teeth instantly flew out. I was hoping I had lost only a few teeth and would get some stitches so I could join the guys and come back for the game. Our trainer told me I wasn't returning and that it looks to be more serious than I thought. Then it hit me to be a serious injury when I was told I needed surgery.”
Callahan continues and insists that he'll return for the Griffins' playoff push--the Griffins' season doesn't end until a week after the NHL season because the AHL schedule started a week later--and he insists that he misses playing more than he hurts.
I've had significant oral surgery, and I can tell you that while the pain subsides, it's something you don't forget. I hope he's taken care of by his dentists, because he's got a long road to go.
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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.