Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Thrashers star Heatley charged in car crash

The Enquirer and wire reports

Thrashers star Dany Heatley, 22, was charged Tuesday with reckless driving after his sports car swerved off a road in Atlanta and careened into a wall at about 80 mph, breaking his jaw and critically injuring teammate Dan Snyder.

Snyder, 25, underwent a two-hour surgery for a skull fracture. Heatley, the MVP of the 2003 NHL All-Star Game, was hospitalized in stable condition.

Grady Memorial Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who operated on Snyder, said he was still unconscious but that there was no bleeding into the brain.

Heatley also has a minor concussion, a contusion on his lung and a bruised kidney, according to the team's physician, Dr. Scott Gillogly. None of the injuries appeared to be career-threatening, Gillogly said.

Heatley lost control of his 2002 Ferrari 360 Modena on a curve on a two-lane road Monday night, police said. The vehicle crossed into the other lane, left the road and struck a wrought-iron-and-brick wall in front of an apartment complex. The car was ripped in half and the players were thrown onto the road.

Heatley also was charged with serious injury by vehicle - a felony - and three misdemeanors.

RED WINGS: Goaltender Curtis Joseph practiced for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in August. Detroit has been trying to trade Joseph since Dominik Hasek ended his one-year retirement in July.

BLUE JACKETS: Defenseman Alexander Guskov, 26, has been loaned to Yaroslavl of the Russian Elite League.

WILD: Former No. 1 draft pick Alexandre Daigle is getting yet another chance, this time with Minnesota, which signed him for one year.

ECHL AGREEMENT: The strike by ECHL players ended when the union and the league agreed to the framework on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The major points of the deal were ratified by the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players Association.

The agreement includes a salary cap of $10,000 per week that rises to $10,500 in the third year; an extended off-ice insurance plan for players and their families; a reserve system that allows clubs to qualify eight players; an employee assistance plan that provides players 24-hour access to medical counseling; and a rule that allows four veteran players per team with the number of games to qualify being 288 games, dropping to 260 games in the deal's third year. The ECHL is the largest hockey league in North America with 31 teams, including the Cincinnati Cyclones, in 17 states.

AHL DUCKS: Cincinnati plays its lone exhibition at 2:05 p.m. Sunday against Cleveland at Ice Land USA in Strongsville, Ohio.

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Thrashers star Heatley charged in car crash

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