Where Are They Now? Catching up with Jason Baird.

Posted: 2010/07/25 by Dannie in Where Are They Now?
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Jason Baird played for the Cyclones in their first year of their second tour of ECHL duty, 2001-02. He played 67 games for the Cyclones, amassing 18 goals and 21 assists while accruing 160 penalty minutes. The winger was third on the team in points, behind only Nick Bootland and Alan Egeland, both of which are now enjoying professional coaching careers. After he left Cincinnati, he spent two years in Indianapolis with the CHL’s ice, four games with the Guildford Flames of the now-defunct British National League, and parts of four seasons with the CHL’s Corpus Christi Ice Rayz before he ultimately found his way to the Youngstown Steelhounds in 2007-08.

In the summer of 2008 while working an off-season job as a landscaper, Baird was riding on a lawnmower that exploded. He was engulfed in flames and burned over 65% of his body. His wife, Bethany, kept a CaringBridge website updated regularly with Jason’s progress as he endured regular surgeries and therapy. As Jason was fighting his battle in the hospital in Akron, the help poured in across the continent: a charity hockey game in Youngstown, a 5k run/walk in Mississauga, ON, fundraisers in Cincinnati, Erie (where he played junior), Corpus Christi, Muskegon (where he was slated to play that fall), and his hometown of Cayuga, ON.

I was fortunate to catch up with Jason, just over two years to the date from the accident, to get an update on his progress. Jason is now living in Corpus Christi again with his wife and three children. He had his twenty-first surgery on March 27th in Akron, and could still need more in the future. He’s currently doing therapy three times a week, but is hoping to drop that to two as he’s gained more movement in his neck and shoulders. For now the 29 year old is enjoying time as a father and husband, but is hoping to get back into hockey in the future.

As for the fans of Cincinnati, Jason had these words to pass along to you: “just tell the fans of the Cyclones THANKYOU so much for the support they have showed me and my family during this tough time.”

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