Jordan Staal out up to 4 months with fractured fibula

Jordan Staal out up to 4 months with fractured fibula

The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Thursday that center Jordan Staal will miss three to four months with a fractured fibula.

They didn’t also announce that they’d miss the playoffs for a sixth straight season, but we’ll just go ahead and assume they thought that was inferred. 

The 26-year-old was injured in a battle with Josh Gorges of the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. Gorges recalled them jockeying for body position before Staal fell to the ice and Gorges fell on him. “As soon as I landed on him, I heard him scream. I knew right away something must’ve hurt him. I mean, he’s a pretty tough guy,” he said.

That he is: Staal didn’t miss a game for the Hurricanes over the last two seasons.

He’s the best defensive center on the Hurricanes, but does so much more. His 40 points last season gave him his lowest points-per-game average (0.49) since 2008, but he was a possession monster for Carolina.

What’s the remedy for the Hurricanes? From the News & Observer:

Coach Bill Peters said after Thursday’s practices at PNC Arena that Staal would be replaced “by committee.”

“We don’t have one guy who’s 6-(foot-)4, 230 (pounds) we can just insert there and play all those minutes,” Peters said. “Obviously we’re going to miss him, but it’s our job to move forward and still play well and win hockey games.”

The replacement for Staal could come from a group that includes Riley Nash, Victor Rask and Elias Lindholm. The free-agent pickings are slim to none.

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They won’t really have a chance to improve themselves dramatically at center until next June. And by that we mean Connor McDavid is a center …

 

 

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