Ex-Habs coach Jacques Demers in stable condition after infection, wife says
Stroke last April led to 3 months of intensive rehabilitative therapy
Former NHL coach and Canadian Senator Jacques Demers is in stable condition after being rushed to hospital on Saturday.
Radio-Canada and his employer, the sports television channel RDS, had earlier reported he had suffered a stroke — his second in six months.
But his wife, Deborah Anderson, told a Montreal newspaper last night that tests showed he was in fact suffering from an infection.
"He's fine, he underwent some tests and everything suggests that it is not a stroke, but an infection," she told Le Journal de Montréal.
Anderson said she "didn't want to take any risks" after his earlier stroke when he showed signs of confusion. He is conscious and in stable condition, she said.
Demers, 72, suffered a stroke on April 6 that was followed by three months of intensive rehabilitative therapy.
His recovery had progressed to the point that he was able to take part in a ceremony last Tuesday at the Bell Centre, a rare public appearance since his first stroke.
Demers, using a wheelchair, handed a ceremonial torch to captain Max Pacioretty before the Montreal Canadiens' home opener.
That, along with serving as a hockey commentator for RDS, has made Demers a beloved figure in Quebec.
He also coached the Québec Nordiques, the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues. He was named to the Senate in 2009 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and currently sits as an Independent.
An outpouring of support for Demers was expressed on social media outlets immediately after news of the second stroke began to circulate online.
Our thoughts are with Jacques Demers and his family.—@CanadiensMTL