Switching back to the future, we look at the past. Wayne Babych was a player that would definitely have benefited from playing in today’s game.
If nothing else, he would have greatly benefited from modern medicine. That is not to say Babych played during the Stone Age.
His career was hampered by a shoulder injury. It was an injury that could have been prevented.
Babych scored 54 goals in just his third season in the NHL. Fun fact, he’s actually the first player to score 50 goals in one season with the Blues.
However, during a preseason game, Babych got into a fight. One of the officials tried to grab his arm during the scuffle, which caused a shoulder injury since Babych was still going for the punch and the official tried to stop it.
The injury didn’t truly cost him his career. He did go on to play six more seasons in the NHL.
However, he wore a shoulder sling after games the entire time. He also only scored 20 goals one more time in his career, when he was the beneficiary of playing RW alongside Mario Lemiuex. After that, he mostly scored goals in the mid-teens and points around the 40’s.
Put Babych in today’s game and he could either benefit from the slightly more open style, with less grabbing being allowed, or he would have benefited from modern technology possibly being able to heal his shoulder better. There’s no telling how good Babych could have been if he had a healthy shoulder.
Blues fans are now hoping Vladimir Tarasenko doesn’t suffer a similar fate. Tarasenko has yet to crack 50 goals, but you know the potential is there.
Babych knows from personal experience how difficult a shoulder injury is to come back from. Injuries happen no matter what era you play in, but it might have been more avoidable in today’s game.