PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- Former NHL player Brian Mullen joined Bob Pompeani to talk about his recovery from a stroke. Mullen suffered a stroke as a player during the summer of 1993 with the New York Islanders.
“My career was going great, and that summer, towards the end of the summer about a month away from training camp starting again, I had a stroke and just out of the blue, it turned my life upside down,” Mullen said. Mullen added that the stroke was caused by a blood clot that formed during the playoff series against the Penguins, and eventually the embolism passed through the hole in his heart and caused the stroke.
Once Mullen found out that he could lead a normal life, he turned his attention towards trying to return to the ice.
“I wanted to make my way back. I had to have the open-heart surgery,” Mullen said. “I had to wait six weeks for the breastbone to heal, and I was on the blood thinners. Once everything cleared up I got right back on the ice.”
Mullen said that he was just about ready to resume his career in the minors when he suffered a seizure.
“They flew me out of the Coliseum there to a hospital, because nobody knew exactly what was going on, but it was a seizure that was caused by the scar tissue left up from the stroke,” Mullen said.
Mullen said that doctors told him he could play again, but that Islanders management offered him a scouting position. Mullen accepted because he was towards the end of his career, and he saw an opportunity to take care of his family.
“I feel great now, I have no heart worries, no worries of having a stroke like that again because I went in and had the hole (in his heart) closed,” Mullen said.
Mullen told Pompeani that Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who suffered a stroke recently, shouldn’t rush back to the ice.
“There’s no rush for Kris Letang. Even if he sits out the rest of this season, it’s no big deal. He’s got a long career ahead of him, he’s going to be fine, and I wish him the best of luck,” Mullen said.