During the third period of the Flyers’ Monday afternoon matinee with the Islanders, a scrum ensued in front the teams’ respective benches.
Nothing unusual for a hockey game, especially a hockey game between two longtime rival clubs.
But what was unusual was the short delay after the whistles finally blew to end the tussle and the refs stepped in to send players away to the penalty box.
Jim Jackson and Keith Jones couldn’t figure out what the delay was for until Steve Coates interjected and made it known that the officials and players were looking for Steve Downie’s hearing aid, which had been knocked out during the scrum.
If you’re like myself, your first reaction was, “Wait, Steve Downie is deaf? Really?”
A quick Google search landed on this Denver Post story from earlier this season when the 26-year-old Downie was a member of the Colorado Avalanche, before he was traded to the Flyers in exchange for Max Talbot.
In the “Details” portion of the story, it’s noted that Downie lost all hearing in his right ear at age 13 due to a rare disorder known as otosclerosis.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says otosclerosis is caused by “abnormal bone remodeling in the middle ear, which disrupts the ability of sound to travel from the middle ear to the inner ear.”
Hopefully that clears it up for you if you were wondering much like I was.
It’s kind of interesting that not only is there a partially deaf player in the NHL, but he also plays for the hometown team. And not many people knew about it.
You learn something new every day.