With his knee ripped apart, facing an uphill battle that would turn into three surgeries, Dana Lattery came to the painful realization that his National Hockey League dream was dead.
It was the summer of 2007.
And he was so close. So very close to finally breaking into the elite fraternity that few ever join.
His cruel setback happened not on the ice where he left his heart in a near four-year journey through the minors, but rather in the gym — a training accident that continues to haunt the kid who grew up in Bearspaw and played in the Cochrane Minor Hockey Association.
“I think after that I kind of got a little bitter from hockey and pulled away,” said Lattery, who returned to Calgary and tried to forget about the game while he built a cabinet-making business. “I just felt I’d given everything to the game but what had it given me?
“Even now you wake up and think ‘what if?’
“I think, to this day, it’s something that burns deep inside you.”
This is the same guy who sits in the Alberta Junior Hockey League record books. As a member of the Olds Grizzlys, Lattery tied for the league scoring title in 1999-2000 while potting 64 goals — equalling the ninth-best total all-time and the most anyone has scored since Calgary’s Dany Heatley breezed through the league with 70 goals the previous season.
Full Story from The Calgary Herald