Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon can identify with blues singer Albert King when he sang “If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
Everything we’ve seen indicates that Bozon, who was the Canadiens third round choice in 2012 NHL draft, has a future in professional hockey and a chance to play in the NHL. That is, if the hockey gods will let him. So far the hockey gods haven’t been very friendly.
The most recent development in Bozon’s staggering career was Thursday’s assignment demotion to the Brampton of the ECHL after missing the first month and a half of the season with a shoulder injury
Everything that has happened to Bozon can be rooted to that bout with life-threatening meningitis in March of 2014. Up to that point in time Bozon was looking like one of the Canadiens strong prospects. Bozon wound up in a medically induced coma and on a feeding tube for almost three of the four weeks he was in Saskatoon hospital. He lost forty pounds battling the disease and came out of the hospital with difficulty speaking and faced with re-learning how to walk. Two months after being released from the hospital at the end of March he was back on skates and in September he was at Canadiens training camp.
The disease had taken so much of Bozon’s conditioning away that the Canadiens, who had signed him to a two year entry level contract, sent him back to Kootenay as an overaged junior. He had an uneventful season, at least comparitively and the Canadiens had him first at their development camp and then at rookie and main training camp before assigning him to St. John’s.
And bad luck struck again. In the first IceCaps exhibition game on October first, playing against the Toronto Marlies, Bozon suffered a separated shoulder. He was finally cleared to play this week after six weeks on the sidelines. The Canadiens and IceCaps had no choice but to send him to Brampton on what is expected to be a conditioning assignment. All things considered he could be there awhile.
Bozon is only 21 and still has a future in hockey. But he’s going to have to find a way to get out from under the cloud that’s been hanging over his head over the last year and a half.