Tag Archives: Damien Hess


Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

One of the Beatles’ most famous songs in a litany of platinum recordings was entitled “The Long and Winding Road.”

The creation of songwriters Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon was released 16 years before Chad Kolarik was even born, but the Connecticut Whale wing can certainly relate.

The 26-year-old Kolarik skated with the Whale on Tuesday for the first time since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in New York Rangers training camp Sept. 20. Kolarik had surgery Oct. 5 and then began that long and winding road back with intensive rehabilitation under the guidance of Whale athletic trainer Damien Hess and strength and conditioning coach/trainer Mark Cesari.

Kolarik also received a very helping hand from college sweetheart Kylee Botterman, a gymnastics star at the University of Michigan whom he married in July during an upbeat offseason in which he also signed a new contract with the Rangers after a promising four games on Broadway and getting 17 goals and 14 assists in 36 games with the Whale after being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets for former Hartford Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers.

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(Adam Gavriel contributed to the writing of this story) 

On a racing team there is of course the driver and then he or she answers to the pit boss for their instruction, but the most critical person to any of their success is the head mechanic that builds the car and keeps it running.

Hockey is not all that different.

A hockey team is, of course comprised of players and a coach, but for ANY team, the backbone of that organization is the team Athletic Trainer.

In the NHL, the New York Rangers have one who is recognized among the best in the business in Jim Ramsey. In the AHL, the Connecticut Whale has an Athletic Trainer who is also recognized to be among the best in the business. His name is Damien Hess.

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