Penguins’ Dupuis diagnosed with blood clot in lung
Pascal Dupuis felt pain in his chest and knew what it was, but he didn’t want to admit it. Not another blood clot, Dupuis told himself.
“The way it felt, I probably tried to deny it,” Dupuis said. “Probably did not want to feel that way. It felt the exact same way it felt before. Just didn’t want to believe it.”
That pain turned out to be a blood clot in Dupuis lung, the Penguins announced Wednesday at Consol Energy Center.
It’s the second one this year for Dupuis, 35. Doctors discovered a blood clot in his leg back in January.
Dupuis will take blood thinners for six months, the same treatment he received before. No hockey either.
After attending a charity function in support of teammate Kris Letang, Dupuis awoke Monday with discomfort in his chest.
Team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas ordered a CT scan and ultrasound. What came back scared Dupuis, who is a husband and father of four.
“Hockey is definitely second on my mind right now,” Dupuis said. “They’re the most important thing in my life right now — my family at home. Just have to be healthy for them.”
That will require Lovenox, an injectable blood thinner, and Coumadin, taken orally. Also rest and a little good fortune, which the Penguins have been short on lately given the frequent, freaky injuries to befall the team.
Tomas Vokoun also had a blood clot. Olli Maatta had cancer, Letang a stroke and Sidney Crosby a concussion.
Asked whether it was lucky the blood clot was discovered now, Vyas responded simply: “We’re lucky. Pascal’s lucky.”
That the clot is in his lung means it can be classified medically as a pulmonary embolism. In his leg, the clot was considered a deep vein thrombosis.
Letang, however, had a different choice of words for what has happened to perhaps the most beloved player in the Penguins’ dressing room.
“Bad luck,” he said. “It’s unfair, happening to a guy like that.”
Letang, Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Chris Kunitz attended Wednesday’s news conference. Same for associate general manager Jason Botterill, coach Mike Johnston and CEO/president David Morehouse.
“You think about him as a dad and as a husband, that’s not easy to go through,” Crosby said. “He’s strong. I’m sure he’ll find a way to get through it. His teammates were here for him. It’s not easy seeing that.”
Johnston said he texted his players shortly before the news conference to let them know about Dupuis.
Dupuis, who has six goals and 11 points in 16 games, played in Saturday’s home game against the Rangers but didn’t practice Monday.
He did not make the trip to Montreal, near his hometown of Laval, Quebec, for Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.
Dupuis was limited to 39 games last season after tearing his ACL during a game Dec. 23, 2013, in Ottawa. He had surgery and didn’t return until the 2014 preseason, when he began camp wearing a noncontact jersey.
During an Oct. 16 home game against the Dallas Stars, Dupuis was wheeled off the Consol Energy Center ice on a stretcher when a puck struck him on the back of the neck.
“It’s been hard, but the hockey stuff — the knee, the puck on the neck — this is all stuff that you come back from,” Dupuis said. “You’re a hockey player. You’re supposed to come back from that stuff. It’s the risk you take as a hockey player to be on the ice, you know?
“But the other stuff, the clot in the lung, it has nothing to do with hockey. It’s life-threatening. You have to think of yourself and your family and your loved ones before hockey comes to mind.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.