When the Columbus Blue Jackets claimed defenseman Kevin Connauton off of waivers from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, they did so with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Cody Goloubef.
Goloubef suffered a right knee injury on Nov.1 and could be done for the season.
“We don’t know, he might be out for the season, might be out for another three weeks,” said Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen. “We’re not sure yet. We needed another defenseman.
“There’s a little tear on his ACL that we think is going to heal, but if it doesn’t, then it could be season-ending.”
The 24-year-old has appeared in three games for Columbus this season averaging 12:23 in ice time to go along with a minus-1 rating. In 20 career games over three seasons, all with the Jackets, Goloubef has a goal and four penalty minutes.
Goloubef’s injury is on top of knee injuries to Ryan Murray and Fedor Tyutin. Kekalainen said Tyutin will miss 4-6 weeks.
“He’s a guy that can play in the NHL and will give us some skill and mobility and depth,” Kekalainen said of the 24-year-old Connauton.
Originally a 2009 third-round pick (83rd overall) of the Vancouver Canucks, Connauton has appeared in 44 career NHL games all with the Dallas Stars registering a goal and 10 points while averaging nearly 15 minutes in ice time.
The troubles on the blue line are in addition to the ailing back of forward Nathan Horton.
Horton hasn’t played this season and may never play again as he ponders career-ending back surgery.
“He’s resting now,” Kekalainen said. “We’re hoping the rest is going to get him back into more of a rehab stage again where we can start strengthening and hoping he can get back to playing.”
Man games lost
Columbus is on a similar pace through 18 games (6-11-1) as they were last season (6-10-2) when they snapped a four year playoff drought.
But on Tuesday Kekalainen revealed some startling numbers on his team’s injury woes.
“Someone sent me an email today saying we have seven man games lost, on average, per game this year,” he explained. “One of my colleague’s upstairs told me that if you have 300-something (man games lost) you have no chance at making the playoffs.
“We’re on pace for 600 this year. I hope the pace gets down a little bit.”
The Jackets return to action on Friday when they entertain the Boston Bruins.