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Top Stories of 2023 – No. 13: Jordan Eberle answers the bell for hit that injured former teammate Andrew Cogliano

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Cam Lewis
5 months ago
Continuing along with Oilersnation’s top stories of 2023, at No. 13, we have some violence between former Oilers teammates.
During Game 6 of last year’s first-round playoff series between the Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche, Jordan Eberle drilled Andrew Cogliano into the boards with a hit from behind. Cogliano was helped off the ice and continued to play that game, but suffered two fractures of the C6 vertebra in his neck and didn’t suit up in Game 7, which Seattle won by a score of 2-1.
When the two teams met for the first time in the 2023-24 season back in October, Eberle immediately answered the bell and dropped the gloves with Avs forward Logan O’Connor.

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Cogliano luckily didn’t have to undergo surgery for the injury but he did contemplate retirement during the off-season. Now 36 years old, Edmonton’s first-round pick from the 2005 draft is back on another one-year deal with the Avs, looking for the second Stanley Cup of his career.
“My personality is probably not the best in terms of really evaluating what’s going on. But I didn’t feel that bad, to be honest. We did all their (medical) testing and all the testing worked. Everything looked good and I felt pretty good,” Cogliano told the Denver Gazette back in September. “In the third, I noticed now I definitely felt a little something on the right side there in the back of the neck. Thinking back on it, my neck was definitely in spasm in a way. It didn’t hurt too bad. I was already dealing with a shoulder injury. So, maybe I had a lot of adrenaline and things helping me out that way.”
It wasn’t until that next morning, Cogliano said, that he “kind of had to peel myself off the bed. I knew something wasn’t right.” A CT scan confirmed the fractures. Cogliano sought the expertise of multiple specialists, and thankfully, did not require surgery. He rarely needed a neck brace.
Cogliano could easily have walked away from the NHL. His family grew in the offseason with a third child. He just escaped a neck fracture relatively unscathed after playing in 1,219 career regular season games. What’s left to prove?
“I still like to compete. I think it’s an honor and privilege to play on this team,” Cogliano said. “The bottom line is that (the Avalanche) wanted me. They thought I brought something to the table and they wanted me back. … I thought it would be great opportunity to come and try to win another Stanley Cup.”

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