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Lindsay is recovering from heart surgery

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Ted Lindsay and his wife Joanne celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in March. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Red Wings great Ted Lindsay is recovering from heart surgery this week in a Detroit-area hospital, his daughter said.

The 88-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer underwent surgery to replace his aortic valve Wednesday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. It is the same hospital that his foundation donated $1 million to help children with autism and their families last week.

Known as a tough-as-nails competitor during his 17-seasons in the NHL, Lindsay had known for several weeks that he needed to have the procedure.

The aortic valve separates the heart's left ventricle from the aorta, allowing blood to flow into the aorta from the heart. This blood is usually rich in oxygen and is carried by the aorta to the rest of the body.

Lindsay was walking ICU floor Thursday night and even enjoyed a Popsicle. It’s possible that he will be moved out of the Intensive Care Unit today, and if his recovery continues to go as planned he could be sent home by early next week.

“I cannot begin to tell you how great dad is doing,” his daughter Lynn LaPaugh wrote in an email. “They want him up a couple of times walking today and then resting.”

Lindsay spent 14 seasons as a player with the Red Wings before he returned as general manager for three-plus seasons in the late 1980s. He was named NHL executive of the year following his first season in 1977-78.

Since then, the four-time Stanley Cup champion has been a terrific ambassador for the Red Wings organization as well as a giving philanthropist, especially in cases that involve causes for children.

In 2001, Lindsay established the Ted Lindsay Foundation to help fund academic research to find a cure for autism. Since then, the foundation has raised more than $2 million for research into the cause and cure of autism.

The foundation raises funds through an annual celebrity golf outing in September supported by the Red Wings and other Detroit area celebrities, an annual wine-tasting event in March, and through sales of autographed sports memorabilia.

In recognition of the $1 million gift, the Beaumont Health System is renaming its autism facility as the Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center.

For updates on Ted Lindsay’s recovery, or to learn more about his foundation CLICK HERE.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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