Andrei Loktionov had shoulder surgery after suffering an injury at the IIHF World Championships and then found out toward the end of June that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t give the 24-year-old center a qualifying offer, which is a development the club announced Monday, and that means Loktionov will hit the open market.
There were other notable restricted free agents that also didn’t get qualifying offers.
Cory Conacher and Jamie McBain of the Buffalo Sabres; Ryan White of the Montreal Canadiens; Keaton Ellerby, James Wright and Matt Halischuk of the Winnipeg Jets; Michael Del Zotto of the Nashville Predators; Jordan Schroeder and Zac Dalpe of the Vancouver Canucks; Mathieu Perreault of the Anaheim Ducks, although it’s a little more complicated then that; T.J. Galiardi and Paul Byron of the Calgary Flames;
Those who believe that the World Hockey Championship should take a year off following Winter Olympics have some ammo in 2014, as the list of injured players is a little disturbing (whether it’s all about bad luck or not).
The latest addition to the list is Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula, who suffered a fractured (non-displaced) jaw in Finland’s gold-medal game defeat to Russia on May 25. The bright side is that the Wild announced that he won’t require surgery and is expected to be healthy after three-to-four weeks.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Evgeni Malkin delivered the hit that injured Haula.
Haula, 23, scored 15 points in 46 regular season games, but really made a difference in collecting four goals and seven points in 13 postseason games. He was especially effective in a spirited series against Chicago; he scored five points in six games versus the Blackhawks.
Again, the list of injuries can’t make GMs feel great about sending their players overseas after rigorous seasons and/or partial playoff runs:
- Jacob Trouba suffered a neck injury.
- Alex Ovechkin and Alex Burrows dealt with knee injuries.
- Dmitry Orlov broke his arm.
- Andrei Loktionov and Roman Polak suffered shoulder injuries.
- Sven Baertschi broke his ribs.
- Marc Methot tweaked his back.
Injuries happen in hockey, including tournaments like these, but one can assume that this summer is an especially sensitive time for such matters. On the bright side, it seems like Haula won’t be hampered too greatly by this ailment, even if it’s not an ideal way to begin his “vacation.”
After the Carolina Hurricanes’ campaign ended with their elimination in the regular season, forward Alexander Semin underwent wrist surgery. Since then he’s been rehabbing and should be okay for the start of training camp, general manager Ron Francis said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.
That’s sets him up for a possible comeback campaign after he scored just 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games in 2013-14.
The Hurricanes’ injury issues didn’t end with their season though. Forward Andrei Loktionov sustained a shoulder injury while playing in the 2014 World Championship. He will have surgery in Switzerland as a result.
Loktionov is a restricted free agent after scoring seven goals and 22 points in 68 contests. Carolina acquired him from New Jersey as part of the Tuomo Ruutu trade.
The World Hockey Championship has been a tough one, health-wise.
On Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets released a statement regarding Jacob Trouba’s neck injury, suffered while playing for Team USA against Latvia last week.
From GM Kevin Cheveldayoff:
“Following Team USA’s game versus Latvia at the IIHF World Championships in Minsk, Belarus, Jacob experienced some discomfort in his neck. After consultation with the Team USA medical staff and officials, it was determined that he should return to Winnipeg as a precaution due to his previous injury history.
“Jacob flew to Winnipeg this past weekend and met with team doctors for a series of tests which revealed he had sustained a mild neck strain. This will not affect Jacob’s off-season training or preparation for next season’s training camp in any way.”
Trouba, the ninth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, suffered a neck injury earlier in October, one that saw him stretchered off the ice in a game against St. Louis and miss 17 games while on IR.
He returned to have a banner rookie year, however, scoring 10 goals and 29 points in 65 games while averaging over 22 minutes a night.
Trouba’s injury is just the latest suffered by an NHLer at the Worlds. Alex Ovechkin and Alex Burrows both suffered knee injuries, Dmitry Orlov broke his arm, Andrei Loktionov and Roman Polak suffered shoulder injuries, Sven Baertschi broke his ribs and Marc Methot tweaked his back in a warmup game prior to the tournament.
A fourth NHLer has suffered a significant injury while playing at the 2014 World Hockey Championships.
Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov broke his arm while playing for Russia against the U.S. on Monday, per NHL.com. The injury will keep him out of the remainder of the tournament and Orlov is set to return to America soon to have the injury examined by medical staff.
“My arm is broken and I can’t turn it, so there is no point in suffering and trying to play. I’d only be a burden to my team,” Orlov said. “I have contacted the Washington Capitals and will be going to America, where I will see a doctor in Washington or New York.”
In March, Orlov signed a two-year, $4 million extension with the Caps, just a few months after expressing frustration with his role in Washington and requesting a trade through his agent, Mark Gandler. Following the request, Orlov worked his way back into the Caps’ regular rotation and finished the year strong, scoring 11 points in 54 games while averaging over 19 minutes per night.
As mentioned above, Orlov isn’t the only player to get hurt in Belarus. Calgary’s Sven Baertschi fractured a rib while playing for Switzerland while Carolia’s Andrei Loktionov and St. Louis’ Roman Polak have been sidelined with shoulder injuries.