Nick Ekbatani made it to midfield on his own last night. This should surprise absolutely no one.
When his teammates were ready to lock arms, he threw his crutches and hopped on his right leg all the way to midfield. His left femur is still broken in four places, and his knee cap shattered. He has a scar on his head from the surgery because of the fractured skull.
His spirit is undeterred.
Jill Painter wrote a really nice piece about about last night's honorary team captain. Most people know Nick's story by now. Nick, an offensive lineman for the Bruins from 2008-09, was involved in a terrible motorcycle crash on PCH back in July that almost cost him his life. In the end, it did cost him his left leg, but it didn't cost him one iota of his incredible courage and spirit. His recovery and rehab has been chronicled on a blog/fund raising site established by his friends.
Ekbatani was the honorary captain for the Bruins on Saturday. He accompanied the four team captains to midfield for the coin toss, and he did it on one leg - without his crutches.
Ekbatani, 25, is supposed to be using his crutches, but he tossed them to the side. They were in the way, and things are easier hopping along.
With Damien Holmes and David Allen by his side, he made it to midfield. He was so focused on the coin toss that he didn't notice he received a standing ovation.
"I was so dialed in and pumped up," Ekbatani said. "I really appreciate them. I felt like a player. It was nostalgic. Fun. I miss this. People say they would die for another chance. I live for this chance."
You can (and should) see Painter's entire article, including a photo of Nick and the captains at midfield, here.
Congrats to Nick for continuing to inspire. Like Kiffie said, you can tell who's a Bruin in about 10 or 15 seconds - which was more than enough time for Nick to get to midfield last night.