NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — David Poile may not see again out of his right eye after taking a puck to the face. That's not stopping the general manager of the U.S. hockey team and the Nashville Predators as he returns to work.
"I'm not trying to be a hero or anything else," Poile said Thursday. "This is not a good situation. It is difficult but I have to, and want to, move on. . There's different adjustments that (I'm) going to have to make, but there's lots of people that have lost an eye and they're operating very well and I have to be one of them."
Poile wore an eye patch as he spoke with reporters Thursday in his first public comments since being hit Feb. 6 during a pregame skate in Minnesota. The puck broke his nose in three places and cracked the orbital bone above and below his right eye. Poile said that required 40 stitches above the eye with stitches in the eye itself with three surgeries, the last Feb. 14 in Nashville.
The general manager also said he was on the bench when hit by the puck.
"I was clearly at the wrong place at the wrong time," Poile said. "I don't like going on the bench. I hardly ever go on the bench, and I sort of always stay down in the hallway just because of situations like that. As we say in hockey, it was a seeing-eye puck."
Poile plans to get glasses to provide protection for his right eye and said he didn't listen specifically to all the details of the injury. He joked that doctors even improved his nose in treating him.
"All I know is there's substantial damage such to the point that I don't have any sight today and ... they're holding out hope that maybe something will change as the eye heals," Poile said.
The injury prevented Poile from attending the Sochi Olympics, so he has been talking to assistant general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma daily. Poile said 90 percent of the work as general manager was done before everyone headed to Sochi, so he finds himself now disappointed at not being in Russia as he serves as a long-distance cheerleader.