He stayed in Buffalo from March until early May, and his knee got stronger, but not really better. "The pain never left," he says. By mid-May he decided to undergo one more, final, operation. "This was going to be it. Either we fixed the knee or I was going to get on with the rest of my life," he says.
Weiss and Zarins removed a small flap of cartilage from behind his kneecap. Two months later Kluzak was skating. "I couldn't believe it. I could skate with almost full power. There was some soreness but not like before."
So far this season, Kluzak has wheeled around full-bore in that long-striding, sneaky-fast style reminiscent of a young Larry Robinson. And he doesn't seem to be favoring or protecting his knee, as witness a spectacular play he made early in the second period of a game in Quebec. With the Bruins down 3-0, Kluzak carried the puck into the offensive zone; it was on a similar play in '84 that Lewis had cut him down. Despite being knocked to the ice by a Quebec defender, Kluzak pushed the puck ahead to Burridge, who centered to Steve Kasper for a goal.
Earlier Kluzak had been at a loss to describe how it feels to skate at full throttle again, finally settling for, "I can't explain how great it feels."
Gordie, you shouldn't have to.