The hockey world was shocked and saddened to learn this past Friday of the injury to Denna Laing, a winger with the NWHL’s Boston Pride who suffered a spinal injury at the Outdoor Women’s Classic on Dec. 31. Laing has limited movement of her arms and no feeling in her legs, the league said in a release, but the 24-year-old delivered an inspiring message to fans via Facebook Sunday.
In a post that was accompanied by several images from the day of the outdoor game, Laing, via a new page called ‘The Denna Laing Team,’ wrote about her experience taking part in the outdoor game and where she goes from here.
Nearly everyone who commented on the situation in a release this past Friday mentioned Laing’s heart and determination, and it’s evident why in her post.
“Denna’s drive to excel has inspired teammates and coaches alike,” NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan said in the statement. “In honor of that attribute, I have directed our teams to wear a helmet sticker bearing her uniform number, 24.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also offered his best wishes on behalf of the league, mentioning Laing’s tenacity and offering support to Laing and her family.
“While we are certain Denna will be served well by the tenaciousness that is her trademark, we also will work with the Laing family to rally the support of the hockey family during Denna’s rehabilitation,” Bettman said.
The update was the first Laing herself has offered since the injury, but her family and friends set up a website, www.dennalaing.org, where Laing’s progress will be updated and where fans can offer their support and donate to help cover medical and rehabilitation expenses.