Operation: Eaves — Showing a Downed Wing That We Care

Get Well, Eaves!

Obviously, we’re not strangers to the grass-roots efforts ’round these parts. Having proudly been involved in both H2H’s and the surprising success of Operation: Curly Fries, we’ve seen first-hand what a motivated community can do, and the great lengths to which it’ll go to ensure one of their own feels right at home: whether that’s a Brazilian hockey fan coming to the States to catch his first hockey game or a member of the very team we all love so deeply.

Patrick Eaves was struck on the side of the face with a Roman Josi shot on November 26th. It looked pretty bad and Eaves was clearly in a lot of pain. Suffering a broken jaw, the initial prognosis was that he’d be back in the lineup in 6-8 weeks… sometime in January. That hasn’t happened. In fact, things haven’t progressed as much as anyone would like. Even with a healed jaw, he’s suffering from symptoms stemming from the concussion that comes with having a puck connect rather swiftly with one’s noggin.

Helene St. James’ piece in the Free Press seems to say what we’d all kind of thought, but didn’t want to believe: Patrick Eaves is shut down for the season, barring some sort of miracle comeback. He will have missed the final 60 games… and only played in ten this year. He’s anxious to get back to the game and is looking forward to a fresh season to work with in 2012-13.

A member of our community, @Slapshotg0al, had a great idea. The gist: just because Patrick Eaves isn’t in the lineup doesn’t mean we’re not thinking of him and we should all wish him the best in a speedy recovery. Her words follow — along with some information if you’d like to contribute to the care package we’ll be sending Mr. Eaves:

I love hockey, you guys love hockey, that’s why we’re here. One of the things I love about hockey fans is the sense of community and family that brings us together. There are countless examples of the hockey community coming together for a cause, to help someone in need, or to provide support. Today we have a special opportunity to come together and show our support for one of our own. As most of you know, Patrick Eaves is currently struggling to recover from a concussion that started out as a broken jaw that resulted from taking a puck to the face on November 26th. What looked to be a painful, arduous recovery from a broken jaw, originally expected to take 6-8 weeks, has turned into a probable season ending injury. With Eaves being out of the lineup for so long, many seem to have forgotten him; but not us. Over the last couple months, I’ve been thinking a lot about Eaves and wishing there was something I could do, some way to encourage him and let him know that he’s still in our thoughts; and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Guess what? Turns out I was right! Today I’m proud to say that we have that opportunity; an opportunity to tell him that we appreciate the heart and dedication he brings to the game, and that we look forward to his full recovery and return to the Wings lineup. I’m sure he’s battling not only through the post-concussion symptoms and physical pain, but also the uncertainty, the discouragement and maybe feeling like he’s been replaced or forgotten. Well here’s our chance to let him know what he means to us and offer up our encouragement.

We’ve been in touch with the Detroit Red Wings and — SHOCKER! — they think it’s a beautiful idea and are more than willing to pass along our well-wishes personally. We’ve teamed up with Winging it in Motown, and a bevy of other Red Wings blogs, to bring you Operation: Eaves, knowing full well that the more people within the community who see this, the better.

You’re welcome to leave a comment here at The Production Line or head to Winging it in Motown’s topic of the same name. All of the comments will be collected from both sites and will be given to Patrick Eaves on an as-yet-announced poster or banner (Details on that shortly… you’ll love it, we promise). If you care to send something more — a gift, a card, a care package — you’re welcome to do that as well. Shoot us an e-mail and we’ll help you get it into the right hands: Patrick’s.

In an effort to cut down on the shenanigans, stay on topic and use the comments as if you’re addressing Patrick Eaves himself. We’re going to copy and paste everyone’s kind words of encouragement and we’d love if he was able to read them as if they were being spoken directly to him.

Go get ’em, Patrick — we’ve missed you all year and can’t wait to have you back in red and white in September!