A recent “upper-body injury” that kept Alex Stalock out of the Minnesota Wild lineup was actually a heart condition suffered at the hands of COVID-19, he revealed to The Athletic Monday.
Last November, Stalock said he was diagnosed with myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle — after he had received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
While he told The Atheltic he was asymptomatic throughout his positive diagnosis, he underwent a formal EKG and echocardiogram before returning to play and that’s when the doctors noticed it.
“When they got a better picture, sure enough, they said, ‘You have myocarditis — a swelling or edema in your heart,’ and you can’t do anything for the next six weeks,” Stalock said. “It was just crazy. It was right at the time where they were finding this in a lot of athletes after having COVID, especially in college football.
“Those first couple weeks were scary. You go on the internet and read stuff and you’re like, ‘Holy shit.’ I was completely asymptomatic, but they think because I had no symptoms and had it in my system that because it was right at the time where we were ramping things up with skating and working out and ramping up for the season that my heart was working and working and working and started to get stressed and swell because of the virus in my system. I mean, that’s pretty scary. We have two kids and just had a newborn baby and then you find out this news, so there was a lot going on there for a couple weeks.
“It was mentally draining and very frustrating. Every doctor you talk to, they’re like, ‘This is so new, we don’t know what can happen.’ And you’re like, ‘Well, that doesn’t help.’”
Stalock went on to say in the article that while he was very disappointed in the way that his time in Minnesota came to an end, he’s very motivated coming into Edmonton.
“I want to get up there as soon as I can so I can get going,” said Stalock. “The fact that they claimed you understanding that you still have to go through a 14-day (government-mandated) quarantine adds a little extra that they wanted ya. I got real close to (Oilers forward Tyler Ennis) here in Minnesota and he tells me I’ll love it there. I can’t wait to see (Connor) McDavid up close. Enzo’s like, ‘Wait ‘til you watch this guy practice every day. He practices the way he plays,’ which is absurd. So it’ll be fun.”
Despite being 33 years old, Stalock is still a “young” body given that he’s only played 151 career NHL games over his nine year career. He’s coming off the best year of his career, too.
Last season Stalock posted a 20-11-4 record with a .910 save percentage.