Tough news for the St. Louis Blues: Roman Polak will need to undergo surgery on his surgery tomorrow thanks to an injury he suffered in the team’s 1-0 with against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here is the announcement from a Blues’ press release.
St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager, Doug Armstrong announced today that defenseman Roman Polak will undergo surgery to repair a severed tendon in his right wrist on Thursday, Oct. 28. The surgery will be performed by Orthopedic Hand Specialist Dr. Martin Boyer of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Polak suffered the injury in the Blues’ 1-0 overtime win against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 23 and will be sidelined indefinitely.
Polak’s impact cannot be measured in offensive numbers. He only had one goal in seven games played this season, but it was a game winner. The most important number is his time on ice per game: a bit more than 19, much like his 2009-10 season average.
B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest reports that Tyson Strachan will act as the Blues’ sixth defenseman, an opportunity the young blueliner relishes.
The Blues have one of the top defensive units in the Western Conference, making it hard for Strachan to crack the six-man lineup. But his omission is not for a lack of skill, just a lack of spots, as Strachan would likely see more playing time on other teams in the league.
But with Polak out, Strachan will have a chance to show Blues coach Davis Payne what he can do. Instead of calling up a defenseman from Peoria, the Blues will instead insert Strachan into a defensive pairing with Carlo Colaiacovo.
His impact is usually pretty subtle, but losing Polak could be really tough on St. Louis. Then again, injuries can open up chances for worthy players, so Strachan has a golden opportunity to succeed in Polak’s absence.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.