Community sets up GoFundMe page for women’s player injured at Winter Classic
It has been nearly a week since Boston Pride forward Denna Laing tripped on a stick and fell head-first into the boards at the Women’s Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, and there has been no update on the 24-year-old Laing’s condition since a statement one day after her fall informing the public that Laing remains hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital and her family has asked for privacy.
But the lack of specifics regarding Laing’s condition has not stopped the hockey community from rallying behind Laing. On Tuesday night, a GoFundMe page was set up to benefit Laing, and the community responded by raising over $18,000 toward a $50,000 goal in 16 hours.
UPDATE: The GoFundMe page has been temporarily suspended at the request of the family.
— Kate Cimini (@k_cimini) January 7, 2016
The page was set up by Sydney Daniels, a junior forward for the Harvard University women’s hockey team who was once an on-ice rival of Laing, who played hockey at Princeton University. Daniels did not release details of Laing’s current condition but asked the public to help in whatever way possible to support Laing financially during a difficult time.
Those who’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get to know Denna, know that she is one of the most caring, hard-working, and selfless people on this planet. She always has and will continue to confront adversity with relentless grit that is unparalleled. Our hope is that, in this time where we know Denna would be the one stepping up for you, you find the little piece of Denna in your heart, to help her and her family through this recovery process.
The money donated to this fund will be allocated to Denna and her family to use towards funding her medical expenses, along with any other expenses that we can help her family with during this hard time. A donation of any size is greatly appreciated.
According to an email to FOX Sports from the National Women’s Hockey League, Laing is covered by insurance from the NWHL for any injury suffered during the Women’s Winter Classic.
"We have an insurance policy for a situation like this," the NWHL said in the email. "The NWHL covers all players in accordance with state and federal laws."
The Boston Bruins held a practice on the ice at Gillette earlier in the day on Dec. 31 before Laing was injured, and multiple Bruins players noted the ice quality was not great, especially in the far right corner. Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg called that end of the ice "dangerous" in an interview after the practice.
Via Puck Daddy:
“The one end was very slushy,” Seidenberg told Puck Daddy. “The one corner was very dangerous, [when you were] kind of turning. But what are you going to do? You have to deal with it.”
Laing’s fall came hours after that interview and appeared to take place at the same far right corner of the ice that Seidenberg had criticized.
Boston Pride coach Bobby Jay told reporters in a press conference after the game that he did not believe ice conditions played a role in Laing’s fall and the accident was simply a "hockey play."
Laing, a native of Marblehead, Mass., played for the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League in 2014-15 before switching over to the NWHL to play for the Pride in their inaugural season in 2015-16.
She played for Princeton from 2010-2014 where she majored in politics and was a two-year captain for the Tigers, per the Princeton athletics website. She posted 76 points in 120 games and was named a Second-Team All-Ivy in her senior year.
Laing tweeted about how excited she was to play in the Women’s Winter Classic ahead of the event.
— Denna Laing (@dlaing14) December 31, 2015
Laing’s sisters, Brianna and Lexie Laing, both play hockey for Harvard, where Brianna is a junior goalie and Lexie is a sophomore forward.