Robyn was crumpled in the front seat, the steering wheel flush against his ribs, his legs crushed. Dinho pulled him from the car, and when Robyn got out he tried to stand. His legs gave way, and he tumbled several feet into a gully off the shoulder of the road. That night doctors at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon feared that Robyn would never play hockey again. He underwent surgery in which two screws were inserted into his left leg and the fracture in his right leg was set. After the operation doctors were more optimistic that Regehr might resume his career. However, they didn't expect him to skate before Christmas.
Robyn spent nine days in the hospital, his roomed filled with visitors. On July 14 Regehr left in a wheelchair. Almost immediately he began to take baby steps with crutches. He had lost 22 pounds, and his rehab was painful. He began riding a stationary bike a few minutes at a time, and then, when doctors gave him the O.K., he lifted light weights. "I did whatever little things I could do," says Robyn. "I did it every day for as long as I could."
He also attempted to repair his psyche. In late July he and Ron went to see his demolished Chevy in the salvage lot. A tuft of Robyn's hair was stuck to the windshield, and one of his sandals was wedged under the brake pedal. Robyn stared at the car for several minutes and then told his father he'd had enough.
On Sept. 2 Regehr drove to a rink near Rosthern and skated alone for 10 minutes. He went to Calgary five days later and participated in no-contact practice for 2� weeks. Just before the Flames broke training camp on Sept. 29, they put Regehr on injured reserve, and a couple of weeks later he was cleared to play and sent to the Saint John Flames, Calgary's American Hockey League affiliate. On Oct. 15 he made his minor league debut by playing 24 minutes in a 4-4 tie against the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. "I was exhausted," says Regehr. "All those years you dream about the NHL, and then after what happened I was more nervous before the game in St. John's than I was when I got to the NHL two weeks later."
Each time Regehr goes home he travels Highway 11. At the point of the accident two white wooden crosses stand by the side of the road. They are adorned with flowers. The last time Regehr drove past was in late September, and he didn't stop or look. He kept his eyes straight ahead, direction Saskatoon, where he would catch a plane to Calgary and join his hockey team.