At 40, Vladdie's still in there
Almost a decade after the accident that cost him his hockey career, little is known about Vladimir Konstantinov's day-to-day life. At last report, Vladdie lived in an assisted-living facility near Ann Arbor, and Irina Konstantinov had filed for divorce, having moved to New Jersey.
What the Red Wings do let the media know is clear--Vladdie will never regain his full cognitive abilities, but "the Vladinator's" still in there:
March 19, Detroit Free Press: Former Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov turns 40 today. It's been a decade since his NHL career was halted by the June 13, 1997, limousine accident that caused severe injuries and a brief coma. Konstantinov has not fully recovered, but he has been able to eschew a wheelchair in favor of a walker, and those Wings who played with him recognize his unconquerable character when he stops by the dressing room before pregame warm-ups on occasion.
"He comes in and sits down, and he doesn't want a lot of help," Kris Draper said. "He has his walker and he wants to sit down by himself; we just try to help him a little bit. You shake his hand and he's still strong. You can tell that's his fighting spirit, to come as far as he has since the accident."
Konstantinov recognizes former teammates like Draper, Kirk Maltby, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Draper said that "a lot of the guys that don't know him come up and shake his hand. He always has a smile on his face, wishes guys good luck. It's unbelievable for the guys who played with him to be able to see him and just give him the little support that we can."
Both happy and sad at the same time. Its good to see that he is up and going again and that he still comes to the arena and both recieves support from and gives support to the team.
Its sad to see that it cost him not only his Hockey Career, but full cognitive function and even his marriage. Irina seemed to be by his side for so long and it must have finally gotten to her.
I still to this day can't imagine how the man driving that limo can live with himself after what he did to Vladdy and Sergei Mnatstakov (spelling)
I am glad to see Vlad doing a bit better and hope he can hold the cup with the team again this year.