The Carolina Hurricanes currently have three players on long-term injured reserve. Max Pacioretty and Jake Gardiner have already been ruled out for the season, but there were still some question marks around Ondrej Kase. The veteran forward played just one game before suffering another concussion, an injury he has experienced several times throughout his career.
In December, Kase resumed skating, and it seemed there might be a chance for him to return. But Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff relays an update from general manager Don Waddell, explaining that the team is not expecting him back this season.
We’re not planning on him [playing again this season] as of now. If we get a good surprise that he’s feeling better, we’ll work him back in.
Even before this incident with Carolina, Kase’s concussion history was “plausibly into the double digits,” as James Mirtle of The Athletic wrote last year. Starting from his first game in North America, and now potentially ending with his first game as a Hurricane, it has been a long, unfortunate grind for the 27-year-old winger. Kase has never played in more than 66 games in a single season, and has suited up just 258 times since debuting in 2016.
He is an effective middle-six player when he’s on the ice, but it’s starting to look like that will never happen again for the Czech winger. It is disappointing for a seventh-round draft pick that rose so rapidly and looked so promising as a young player. Incredibly, he still ranks 27th in goals among all players drafted in 2014.