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Depth will be tested without Calvert

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets



DETROIT -- If it wasn't for bad luck with injuries, Matt Calvert would have no luck.

The 24-year-old spark plug winger for the Blue Jackets has had a tough time staying in the lineup recently, and after missing time during training camp with a lower-body injury, he was dealt another blow this week.

A nagging abdominal injury (which may have slowed him during camp) required surgery, and Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia performed the procedure on Tuesday morning.

A recovery period of approximately six weeks is on deck for Calvert, who has become an integral piece of the Blue Jackets' present and future. Their heavy forechecking game is right up his alley, and before a hand injury ended his season in April of last year, Calvert was the poster child for Columbus' aggressive style of play.

Following surgery on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets must play without one of their best forecheckers but they'll look to other players to fill the void.

"He has to play that way," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told BlueJackets.com. "He's not the most skilled player on our team but his physicality and tenacity...that's what makes him an effective player. We certainly have a lot of respect for the way he plays the game."

In his absence, the Blue Jackets' depth will be tested. They made two recalls this week from Springfield (AHL) in Falcons captain Ryan Craig and a solid two-way player in Sean Collins, both of whom have NHL experience. Todd Richards and the rest of the hockey operations staff have expressed their confidence in both players' ability to step in and contribute if called upon, and they may be needed as early as tonight in Detroit.

Moving forward, could this present an opportunity for Boone Jenner to solidify himself as an NHL player?

Kekalainen had this to say: “I’d answer that in a general sense, and say that every time you have an injury it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

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