BRIGHTON, Mass – At some point in the next couple of days, 20-year-old Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be ready to talk about the past couple of months that led to the procedure he had this week to deal with an abnormal heart rhythm.
The good news is that the ablation procedure went well Monday at Mass General Hospital and that McAvoy was released on Tuesday morning with the expectation he’ll be able to return in a couple of weeks. The young D-man has definitely been ruled out for games this week prior to the NHL All-Star break and may miss a couple more when the regular-season convenes again next week. Still, the good thing is that he’s healthy and recuperating.
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“He’s doing very well...everything went very well,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Our concern as an organization is obviously his health moving forward. That’s the No. 1 priority and he’s doing terrific, and we’ll see how his recovery goes from there.”
Longtime Boston University and Bruins teammate Matt Grzelcyk said he’s traded some texts with McAvoy the past couple of days and fellow D-man Brandon Carlo said he offered to pick up a few things up at Whole Foods while McAvoy's on the mend.
“I just texted with him to make sure he was doing okay, and he was in good spirits,” said Grzelcyk. “He’s doing well and it was good to be able to talk to him. Obviously, it’s pretty scary when you hear about it, but I’m not really too sure what is going on. I just wanted to make sure he was doing well and that he’s not too down on himself, or anything like that.
“He’s doing fine and I know he’s healthy. He’s been one of my closest friends for a while now and it’s obviously a little scarier when it’s your heart as opposed to being a shoulder or a knee injury. It’s tough, but I think he’ll come out stronger because of it. Charlie has played so many games for a while now and not had anything creep up on him. He’s such a big, strong kid. It’s tough that he’s going to have to miss time. It’s something he definitely doesn’t want to do, but we’ve just got to step up as best we can as a team.”
Clearly, the important aspect of this entire situation is that McAvoy is healthy and ready to resume his life as one of the best young defensemen on the planet when the time is right. Still, it certainly felt like it also served as a reminder to many of his young, talented Bruins teammates that good health is a precious thing for everybody.
“At first, it makes your heart drop a little bit, but then you find out a little bit more about what it is and it’s not too severe in a way. Ultimately, when you hear that it’s going to be okay, with the training staff we have here, it’s very reassuring,” said Carlo. “In that game on Nov. 26 when he was feeling it he didn’t show any signs of slowing down. That’s pretty crazy that a guy like that could seem like he’s almost having a heart attack and still play 23 minutes a night. He’s a pretty special guy to handle the minutes he does and we’ll see that for a long time from him.”
The Bruins indicated that McAvoy, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and doctors will hold an availability to discuss McAvoy’s supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) condition and the procedure in the near future when McAvoy is feeling up to the task.