Steve Konowalchuk has decided to retire today, following an abnormal EKG test. After further testing, it seams there has been more of a problem than was originally thought.
From the Colorado Avalanche website:
Konowalchuk made this decision official after undergoing an additional series of tests relating to his heart condition. This condition was detected during medical tests that all Avalanche players underwent prior to the start of training camp. Results from a standard EKG test revealed an abnormal reading.
“In Steve’s case, the abnormal reading prompted further tests which revealed he has Long QT Syndrome, a genetic disease involving electrical conduction which can lead to irregular heart rhythms,” said Dr. Steve Friedrich, Avalanche cardiologist. “These findings were confirmed through a series of tests that Steve underwent at the University of Rochester Cardiac Center in New York, which runs an international LQTS registry and is a research center for the syndrome. Steve and the physicians in Rochester conferred with multiple national centers in order to form a consensus regarding his condition.”
So the biggest fears have been realized. Aside from being completely sad for a person who gave a lot to the team, Steve Konowalchuk is one of those guys I would challenge anyone to hate. When the mud is slung around at any player for anything (big misdeeds to small), none of it sticks to Steve. He came to the Avs when Paul Kariya was injured, and stepped up to the plate with leadership. He played way beyond his number ever indicated.
From Steve, via the same article:
“This has been a very painful process, but I’m very proud of a long NHL career and happy to have a lifetime of special memories and friends to take with me.”
What a way to retire. I’ll have more of the colder what-should-the-Avs-do-now thing later. Right now, I’m just sad.