Dougie Hamilton will be out indefinitely for the Carolina Hurricanes after having surgery for a broken left fibula Friday.
The defenseman was injured in a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. He left the game with 17 seconds remaining in the second period.
"Big loss," center Jordan Staal said. "He's played so well for us this season. It's tough. 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."
Hamilton got tangled with Blue Jackets forward Kevin Stenlund at the red line. Stenlund's right skate clipped Hamilton's right skate, and Hamilton's left knee buckled as he went into the boards with his right knee leading.
Hamilton recently was selected to play in his first NHL All-Star Game but was replaced by Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin on Friday for the game Jan. 25 in St. Louis. Hamilton ranks fourth in scoring among defensemen with 40 points and is tied for second with 14 goals. His plus-30 rating ranks second in the League among all skaters.
"Arguably one of our best players this year," forward Jordan Martinook said. "He's our all-star. It shook everybody up seeing that happen. 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."
[RELATED: Slavin replacing Hurricanes teammate Hamilton in NHL All-Star Game]
The No. 9 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins, Hamilton has 299 points (96 goals, 203 assists) in 552 games in eight seasons with the Bruins, Calgary Flames and Hurricanes, and 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games.