Veteran defenseman Cory Sarich is hoping to make an NHL return in 2015-16 after missing all of last season recovering from a cycling accident.
"I'm doing well," Sarich, who turned 37 on Aug. 16, told the Calgary Herald on Tuesday. "Everything is back to normal. Conditioning-wise I feel great. Overall health is fantastic."
He had one goal and 10 points in 54 games for the Colorado Avalanche in 2013-14. Sarich spent the previous six seasons with the Calgary Flames.
Sarich was injured July 21, 2014, when, according to the Herald, he tried to avoid a pickup truck that turned in front of his bicycle. He slid under the truck on his stomach and sustained five cracked vertebrae when the truck ran over him. He also sustained burns on his shoulder and wrist from the truck's muffler, a swollen left arm and leg, a large laceration on his head, and a serious case of road rash. He also dealt with a knee injury and had a staph infection in his elbow that required another hospital stay.
He said he spent the summer training with his brother-in-law, Nick Schultz of the Philadelphia Flyers, and said he has spoken with a few teams but no opportunities have presented themselves.
"That's been obviously the goal, to try to see if there's any interest out there," Sarich said. "Nothing so far. I'm just going to keep skating ??? trying to get my legs underneath me."
Sarich was the 27th pick in the 1996 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. He played 46 games for the Sabres over parts of two seasons and then joined the Tampa Bay Lightning. In seven seasons there he helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2004.
He is 31 games shy of 1,000 in his NHL career, but understands he may not get there.
"I'm a realist ??? if nothing happens, that's the way it is," he said. "At least I'm in good shape. It was a fun summer.
"Last summer was a long one, and this summer was a super-short one. It was nice. It was normal."