The final full week of November is in the books and it was a stretch that was dominated by injury news. We recap the biggest headlines in our key stories.
Back On The Market: Jaroslav Halak’s time with the Hurricanes came to a quick conclusion with the veteran requesting and being granted his release from his PTO agreement. The 38-year-old was brought in a couple of weeks ago when Frederik Andersen was diagnosed with blood clots with the hope that he’d give Carolina some extra depth between the pipes. However, the team wasn’t prepared to offer him a contract at this point, likely prompting Halak to try to move on. Halak has done quite well for someone picked in the ninth round, putting together a 17-year NHL career so far. He’ll have to wait a little longer at least before he has a shot at making it 18.
Done For The Year: When the Blackhawks picked up Taylor Hall over the summer, the hope was that he’d be a capable top-six scorer to give top prospect Connor Bedard some support. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as planned. Hall has dealt with multiple injuries already this year and his latest one, a torn ACL, will end his season prematurely as he’ll undergo surgery on Monday. Hall’s year comes to an end with just two goals and two assists in ten games, hardly the start to his time in Chicago anyone was hoping for. He has one year left on his contract after this one with a $6MM AAV.
Perry Gone Indefinitely: Still with Chicago, midway through the week, Corey Perry was a surprise scratch with head coach Luke Richardson calling it an organizational decision. Saturday, GM Kyle Davidson stated that the veteran would be gone for the “foreseeable future” while declining to provide further details or comment on any speculation. Meanwhile, soon after that, his agent released a statement stating that Perry has stepped away to attend to personal matters, somewhat contradicting Chicago’s assertion of his absence being an organizational decision. Perry has been relatively productive this season, sitting fourth on the team with four goals and five assists through 16 games but those totals won’t be getting added to for a while by the looks of it.
More Injury News: A tough start to the season just got a bit tougher for Columbus as they’ll be without one of their top defensemen for at least the next six weeks as Damon Severson is sidelined with an oblique injury. Columbus picked up the 29-year-old in a sign-and-trade with New Jersey who gave him an eight-year, $50MM contract; he was off to a decent start with eight points in 19 games while logging nearly 21 minutes a game. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs will be without John Klingberg for a while as he has been placed on LTIR as his undisclosed injury is not healing as well as hoped. He had struggled when he was in the lineup and didn’t provide the offensive boost Toronto was expecting. It wasn’t all bad news on the injury front, however, as the Lightning welcomed back goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy as he has fully recovered from the back surgery he had in training camp. How did Tampa Bay celebrate? By becoming the first team in NHL history to score at least eight goals on 14 or fewer shots in a game since shots were first officially tracked in 1955-56.
Girard Enters Player Assistance Program: Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard has taken a leave of absence from the team to enter into the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. The blueliner stated that he “made a proactive decision to take care of my mental health, and will be entering treatment for severe anxiety and depression that has gone untreated for too long and led to alcohol abuse”. The 25-year-old has become an integral part of Colorado’s back end in recent years but will now be away from the team indefinitely as he works through the program.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.