EVERETT — Logan Aasman was a solitary figure on the ice at Xfinity Arena on Tuesday afternoon. While the rest of his Everett Silvertips teammates had the day off, he was put through the paces by assistant coach Brennan Sonne and athletic trainer Wayne Duncan.
But Aasman was just fine with the extra work. It meant he was one day closer to making his return.
After a lengthy absence because of a concussion, Aasman is on the brink of returning to Everett’s lineup, just in time for the stretch run.
“It’s great to be back,” Aasman said. “I was getting pretty bored sitting at home and not able to do anything. It feels good to get back doing anything, but when you can be down here playing hockey it’s even better.”
Aasman, a 19-year-old winger, hasn’t played since Everett’s 4-3 overtime loss to Kootenay at home on Nov. 30. The towering third-year veteran, who is usually employed by the Tips in a checking role, had two goals and six assists in 25 contests when he was shut down.
While the game against Kootenay was his last, it may not have been the game in which he suffered the concussion.
“It was weird,” Aasman said. “I actually don’t know for sure when it happened. I kind of got hurt a month before that, and then I had a really bad sinus infection that was giving me headaches. We’re not really sure when it took place.
“(The Kootenay game) was when it started getting bad, but it may not have happened in that one.”
Aasman was sent home to Medicine Hat, Alberta, early for Christmas break. He returned to Everett following the break, but he wasn’t ready to return to action. He boarded the bus with the team when it left for its eastern road trip following the Tips’ game at Seattle on Dec. 30, but he was dropped off at home on the way to Saskatchewan so he could recover further.
“I just felt off,” Aasman said. “Everything I did, it’s like you’re not yourself. That’s the best way I can explain it.
“It was tough,” Aasman added about recovering at home. “Usually when you go home it feels good to be home. But I didn’t want to be at home, I wanted to be here with the team competing and getting ready for the playoffs.”
Aasman spent another month at home before returning to Everett two weeks ago. He’s been practicing with the team on a limited basis since returning to town, and Tuesday he was cleared to resume full contact. He’s shed his no-contact jersey, and it’s possible he’ll be back for this weekend’s three-in-three, though that’s not certain yet.
“I feel good,” Aasman said. “I’m a little more tired than I would be, but it’s coming back pretty quick.”
Aasman’s return comes at a convenient time for the Tips. Everett has just 22 players on its roster, so there isn’t much leeway for injuries. Center Matt Fonteyne has been out recently because of a lower-body injury, and with Aasman also out it’s meant the Tips haven’t had any healthy scratches.
“It’s nice (having Aasman nearly back) just on a personal level because he’s a great kid,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said. “The idea he can get himself going again and maybe be a part of what we’re doing down the stretch and in the playoffs is really fun for him. And from a team standpoint we have a pretty thin roster. We played short a guy recently, and in every game recently we’ve had just enough to dress a full lineup. Just getting a body back for what we’re going to need down the stretch as a team is important, too. So for a couple reasons it’s good to have him back.”
And Aasman is ready to jump back into the fray.
“I feel ready,” Aasman said. “At first I thought it would take a while. It’s been two weeks, but now I feel really good and I’m ready to get back to playing.
“This is the most important time of the year and I want to be a big part of that and hopefully help get this team to where it needs to be.”
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at @NickHPatterson.