Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore of Langley, British Columbia, announced on Thursday that he had testicular cancer surgery in the offseason, but is expected to make a full recovery. According to W.G. Ramirez of the Associated Press,it is unsure if Theodore will be ready for training camp or not.
Many National Hockey League players have had to fight cancer in the past while they have been playing in the National Hockey League. The list includes Mario Lemieux, Saku Koivu, Phil Kessel, Olli Maatta, Brian Boyle and Jason Blake.
Theodore just finished his second season with the Golden Knights after beginning his NHL career with the Anaheim Ducks where he he played two seasons. In 79 games with the Golden Knights in 2019-20, Theodore had 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points. He was a -4 with 20 penalty minutes, nine power play points, one game winning goal, one shorthanded point, 202 shots on goal, one faceoff win, 91 blocked shots, 27 hits, 82 takeaways and 59 giveaways.
Theodore was able to set career highs in goals, assists, points, shots on goal, faceoff wins, blocked shots and takeaways. Even though he was a minus player this past season, the fact that Theodore had 23 more takeaways than giveaways signifies his defensive excellence on the ice.
Theodore’s faceoff win in 2018-19 was the first of his NHL career. It came in a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 17. Theodore’s shorthanded point in 2018-19 was the second in his NHL career. It came as an assist on a game winning goal by Cody Eakin of Winnipeg, Manitoba in a 4-1 Golden Knights win over the Buffalo Sabres on October 16.
The Golden Knights actually begin their NHL preseason on Sunday afternoon with a matinee against the Arizona Coyotes. Vegas then has six more exhibition games before starting the 2019-20 National Hockey League regular season on October 2 when they host the San Jose Sharks.