Blue Jackets lose Werenski for rest of season due to hernia surgery

The Blue Jackets placed Zach Werenski on injured reserve Friday, ending his 2020-21 season. The defenseman has an “inguinal/sports hernia,” according to the team, and will undergo surgery next week.

“Zach has been playing through the injury for most of the season and as much as we would like to have him in the lineup, having the surgery now is the right decision and will allow him to be 100 percent before the start of training camp in the fall,” said Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

In 35 games this season Werenski scored seven goals and recorded 20 points while averaging 24:22 of ice time.

The Blue Jackets’ playoff hopes were already slim, with the team sitting seven points behind fourth-place Nashville in the Central Division with 14 games to play. After losing Boone Jenner and Riley Nash to injury this week, this is another blow to those chances. But with the NHL trade deadline coming up on Monday afternoon, it was likely Kekalainen will be in seller mode.

[ProHockeyTalk’s 2020-21 NHL Trade Tracker]

A decision is to come on goaltenders Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins, but it’s clear that defenseman David Savard will be moving on given his healthy scratch on Thursday.

“It’s what happens when you’re not in the position you want to be in,” said Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, who may also be moved before the deadline. “We’re not used to that around here. We haven’t been in that position for a while. It’s hard to see. There’s only so much you can say. It’s the reality of the situation. It sucks. You can lose some good friends.

“You don’t realize the ramifications of a season like this [until] some good people are gone.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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