WILMINGTON — Despite not practicing, Bruins rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer held court in the dressing room Monday, discussing his recent concussion and how his recovery is going.
Kampfer was hit hard in the corner Thursday night by Lightning forward Mattias Ritola. After trying to play another shift, Kampfer stayed on the bench for the rest of the period before leaving the game.
“He was going for a highlight hit and I gave it to him,” the rookie said.
Kampfer noted Monday that he has had concussions before, but given how long ago they were, they are “nothing in that time frame of where it could ever be reoccurring.”
“I’ve had a couple of years since the last one,” he said, “so I guess it’s more of you get it and it rattles you a little bit, but it is what it is.”
The concussions of which he speaks relate to a delicate subject. While in school at the University of Michigan, Kampfer found himself on the wrong end of a couple of dangerous incidents. A late night altercation in October of 2008 with a running back from Michigan’s football team resulted in Kampfer getting his head smashed into a sidewalk, fracturing his skull.
Just over three months later, two Michigan State players attacked Kampfer  on the ice, with Andrew Conboy sucker-punching him from behind and Corey Tropp hitting him in the neck area with his stick.
“Those [concussions] were two separate things,” Kampfer said Monday. “That was the only time where I had two concussions in a short period of time.”
Now, the 22-year-old blueliner hopes to begin riding the stationary bike within the next couple of days before eventually making a return to the ice. He was initially ruled out for a week since his diagnosis on Friday, but on Monday was unsure of when he may return. Noting that “you can’t replace a head,” he understands that waiting it out is necessary, despite how badly he wants to return to the ice.
“I think any time you get hurt it frustrates you. It’s not more the timing than anything, it’s that you’re frustrated because you want to play,” he said Monday. “The main goal now is to get healthy and start feeling better, and then get back out on the ice when I get the opportunity.”