Tim Bozon received an invitation this week to the Canadiens’ rookie camp next month and is confident he’ll be there after battling meningitis.
Bozon, who was selected by Montreal in the third round (64th overall) of the 2012 National Hockey League entry draft, was hospitalized in Saskatoon on March 1 after playing a game with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice against the Saskatoon Blades. He was diagnosed with meningitis and placed in a medically induced coma. Critically ill, he pulled through and was finally discharged from hospital four weeks later.
On July 31, with the green light from the Canadiens’ doctors, Bozon played for France’s national under-23 team at a tournament in the Czech Republic.
Bozon told The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell that the hardest part of his hockey rehab was that he had lost nearly 40 pounds.
“I worked hard for three, four summers to add muscle mass to get bigger,” he told Branswell. “And from one day to the next you look at yourself in the mirror and you’re not the same. And it’s hard to accept for a high-level athlete to see yourself weak, no more strength.”
Bozon now weighs 194 pounds, almost back to his listed weight last season of 199 pounds.
Bozon told Branswell there were moments when he wondered if he’d be able to return to hockey “but I try not to think about it.”
“For sure sometimes I said to myself, ‘Am I doing this for nothing?’ But that rarely happened to me. I knew it would end up by paying off. And for sure the reward will be to be at Montreal’s training camp and to see what I’m capable of doing.”
He said his goal is to play for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs this coming season.
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)