Some familiar faces have returned to Lethbridge’s Enmax Centre this week as the Lethbridge Hurricanes go to work in training camp. Among them is Jordy Bellerive, who is back to captain the team, but it’s a camp Bellerive didn’t know he’d be able to play in.
“Originally they said I probably wouldn’t play hockey for a year,” Bellerive said. “So obviously mentally that’s something that’s pretty hard to hear.”
Bellerive, along with teammate Ryan Vandervlis and ‘Canes alumnus Matt Alfaro, were injured in a campfire incident near Calgary in June. The incident left Bellerive with injured hands.
“With my hands in the condition that they were in, it was pretty tough,” Bellerive said. “I was in the hospital for 12 days.”
But after a challenging start to his recovery, Bellerive started to make progress.
“It’s been a pretty big climb uphill,” Bellerive said. “After that, probably five to 10 per cent (improvement) a week. And like I said, I’m pretty close to 100 per cent now.”
Vandervlis remains in hospital recovering from his injuries, while Alfaro has been released from care.
Bellerive is thankful for the support he and his friends have received from the community, family and teammates.
“I thank them a lot and the people of Lethbridge for the support they gave me after the incident I had,” Bellerive said. “The guys have been unbelievable I had a couple buddies that flew down the next day and a bunch of guys drive up from Saskatchewan to come visit me in the hospital. It’s been continuous support so far. I couldn’t have done it without them and can’t thank them enough.”
His teammates are happy to have their captain back and admire how far he’s come in his recovery.
“I couldn’t believe what happened, but at the same time it’s amazing to see him back and to see how hard he’s worked and Vandy included and Alfaro,” Hurricanes forward Jadon Joseph said. “It’s amazing to see those guys push through what they’re doing and especially for (Bellerive) to be here doing what he’s doing right now is amazing.”
Bellerive leaves for Pittsburgh Penguins camp in September and if he’s returned to the ‘Canes this season, he has one singular goal.
“Lead my team to a Memorial Cup,” Bellerive said. “I think that’s the only thing I’m worried about this year.”