A dangerous situation is developing in a Saskatoon hospital.
After scoring his 33rd goal on the season against the Blades on Friday night, Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was held out of the lineup for the team's Saturday night contest in Prince Albert. News surfaced Monday that Bozon had been returned to a Saskatoon hospital where he was being treated for meningitis, and remains there today, according to Guillaume Lefrançois of Radio-Canada. Dominick Saillant, the director of communications for the Montreal Canadiens, confirmed to Radio-Canada that the NHL team's doctors had been in contact with the medical staff in Kootenay.
The 19-year-old Bozon was a third round pick of the Habs in 2012. The Swiss-born winger was traded to the Ice from Kamloops earlier this season, and has picked up 62 points in 50 games thus far.
Via the Mayo Clinic's website, the cause of meningitis, an "inflammation of the membrances surrounding the brain and spinal cord", determines the severity. Viral infections tend to go away on their own, but the rarer bacterial and fungal infections require immediate medical treatment. The Ice are refusing to comment on the situation, which can feed speculation that the situation is serious.
L'Ice de Kootenay maintient encore ce matin sa politique de ne pas formuler de commentaires sur la santé de l'espoir des #Habs Tim Bozon
— Guillaume Lefrançois (@GLefrancoisRC) March 4, 2014
(Translation: The Kootenay Ice maintain their policy this morning and will not comment on the health of Habs prospect Tim Bozon.)
WHL reporter Gregg Drinnan, however, said a source "familiar with what has happened" told him that the situation is "very, very serious". A cursory glance over some of the medical literature linked in the Wikipedia entry for the disease seems to indicate that if bacterial meningitis caught early enough, patients shouldn't be at any life-threatening risk. For better or worse, there's nothing official out of the Ice right now other than Bozon being out "for an undetermined amount of time with an illness". We'll keep the situation updated here once the Ice make some information available for public consumption, but obviously the graver concern right now is for the health of a teenager grappling with the illness.
Bozon's parents commandeered young Tim's Twitter account to send out a message:
Our Timmy is keeping fighting but...thank you so much for your wonderful wishes.helene and Phil Bozon
— tim bozon (@timbozon94) March 4, 2014