Next my fingers came back, and even my left thumb, which had been the worst before the hemorrhage. The first time I got a flicker of movement out of it Pat was in the room; the two of us jumped around like maniacs.
After that things went pretty well. I felt better all the time. The day before Pat and I went home to Winnipeg, Clarence Campbell, president of the National Hockey League, came to Ottawa to conduct an investigation. I didn't know it at the time, but the Crown was already preparing a case against Maki and me, charging us both with assault with attempt to injure. I guess it was an unprecedented action, because the only cases involving professional hockey games had been civil actions between players and fans. This was the first time two players were accused in a criminal action arising from something in a game. I understood very few of the ramifications, and to this day I'm not sure exactly what they were or precisely why the authorities had singled out Maki and me for prosecution. Our hassle had been a typical hockey fight. The only thing that distinguished it from many others was I had been badly hurt.
Mr. Campbell's hearing was held in the offices of Edward S. Houston, an Ottawa lawyer the Bruins had engaged to represent me. Mr. Campbell had asked that all the principals be present. The first time I saw Maki after the fight was in Houston's office. I wasn't embarrassed, but I think he was, or maybe just sorry. He saw me paralyzed and bald-headed, with a big ugly scar, my left arm in a sling, my face over to one side, and my speech still garbled. We didn't talk much. Just shook hands and exchanged "Hi's" or something.
Eventually, in separate trials, Maki and I were each acquitted. Mr. Campbell suspended both of us without pay, myself for 13 games and Maki for 30 days. Mr. Campbell said he was satisfied on two points: first, that Maki had speared me, but also that "Maki's blow ricocheted off Green's stick before it hit Green on the head, causing his injury." While I remember nothing about being hit, everything I've been told points to the certainty that Maki hit me squarely. I doubt I would have been as severely hurt if his stick had ricocheted off mine. Anyway, I could have done very nicely without that hearing. The next day Pat and I flew home.
Green played out the 1970-71 season as a Bruin regular. Having pulled abdominal muscles in an exhibition game, he was unable to play this season until last week. Obviously he had not recaptured the skills that once made him an All-Star defenseman. Whether he will do so is problematical.—ED.