Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken left fibula during the second period of the team's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Hamilton is being evaluated by team doctors and could undergo a procedure as early as today. A further medical update and recovery timeline will be known later this evening.
Hamilton was chasing down a puck along the near wall in the neutral zone when Kevin Stenlund's right leg got tangled up with Hamilton's right skate. The result was an awkward spill for Hamilton, as his left leg bent underneath him as he fell to the ice. The 26-year-old defenseman was helped off the ice, and he obvioulsy did not return to the game.
"Big loss. He's played so well for us this season. It's tough," Jordan Staal said. "We've got a great D corps, and a lot of guys can come in to try to fill that big hole. We'll get him back as soon as we can."
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Hamilton was a week away from attending his first NHL All-Star Weekend, deserved recognition for the career season he was assembling. Through 47 games in 2019-20, Hamilton totaled 40 points (14g, 26a), most by a defenseman through 47 games in team (since relocation) history. Among all NHL defenseman, Hamilton ranks tied for second in goals, fourth in points and tied for seventh in assists. He also ranks second among all NHL skaters in plus/minus (+30), all while averaging a career-high 23:17 of ice time per game.
"Arguably one of our best players this year. He's our All Star. It shook everybody up seeing that happen," Jordan Martinook said. "It's the cliché hockey next-man-up type thing, but that's a lot of big minutes to find. Guys will have to step up, and hopefully we can get him back sooner rather than later."
Haydn Fleury, a healthy scratch in the last four games, is expected to draw back into the Canes' lineup against Anaheim. Jaccob Slavin, incredibly well-deserving in his own right, will replace Hamilton at the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend in St. Louis from Jan. 24-25.