… Before the Canucks’ April 13 game against the Calgary Flames, Alberts skated and passed and shot the puck in full gear and felt like a kid back on the frozen pond where he had learned to play hockey all those years ago in Minnesota…

“I just wanted to go out there and twirl around because it could be my last time on an NHL sheet,” Alberts says. “I had to beg Burnie (medical trainer Mike Burnstein) to let me out there. I said: ‘Just give me 20 minutes.’ I went out there with Eric. Just us and a few pucks on the ice. I knew it might be my last time.”

“I think there should have been some supplemental discipline [for the other party]. If I’m Sidney Crosby, it’s probably a 15-game suspension. The frustrating part is I’m working my ass off trying to be on the team and get in the lineup, something like that happens and the guy gets off free and now here I am just hoping I can have one day without headaches.

“I’ve kind of just let it go because there’s no point in dwelling on what happened. I just want to get healthy again to the point where I’m not having issues and can just have a normal day around the house. That’s where my focus is right now. Headaches can last an hour … or the rest of the day. You never know. It’s random. You start to get used to having them, I hate to say. It’s part of your day, always there: ‘OK, this is the way it is.’ And you just get through the day.”

“It hasn’t been easy on family life because you can’t really be yourself,” Alberts says. “It’s almost like there’s a cloud over your head. You want to be happy and just want to have a normal day. (But) in the back of your mind, you wonder: Am I ever going to have a day when I don’t have to worry about headaches?”

He remembers Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa standing over him as he lay on the ice in Calgary, encouraging him and telling him: ‘Hang in there buddy, Burnie’s coming.’

—  Andrew Alberts hoping for ‘one day without headaches’ (Vancouver Sun)