Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal recently had surgery to repair a core muscle injury suffered last week while training, the team announced Tuesday. The team believes Staal "will be able to return to action for training camp and be at full health for the start of the regular season."
The injury is a setback for Staal, who was hoping to rebound after a 2013-14 campaign that resulted in his lowest goal (21) and point (61) totals in an 82-game season since his rookie year. The dip in production last season has often been attributed to the third-degree MCL sprain Staal suffered in May 2013 at the IIHF World Championships on a knee-to-knee hit by Swedish and Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler.
Following the diagnosis last spring, the Hurricanes also stated in a team release that Staal was "expected [to] be healthy and ready to play to start the 2013-14 season." While Staal — who did not have surgery for the knee injury — did recover in time for the start of the season, he had just eight points in Carolina's first 12 games and had only one power play goal for the entire campaign. The Hurricanes missed the postseason for the fifth consecutive season in 2013-14, leading to the dismissal of coach Kirk Muller and hiring of his replacement, former Detroit assistant Bill Peters.
Here is the release from the team.
STAAL UNDERGOES SURGERY FOR CORE MUSCLE INJURY
Canes captain expected to make full recovery by start of season
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that center Eric Staal underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury suffered during off-season training. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.
"Eric notified us of the injury late last week, and flew to Raleigh and then Philadelphia to be evaluated," said Francis. "By having this procedure now, Dr. Meyers believes Eric will be able to return to action for training camp and be at full health for the start of the regular season."
Staal, 29, is entering his 11th NHL season with Carolina after leading the team in assists (40) and points (61) during the 2013-14 campaign. Selected by the Hurricanes in the first round, second overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Staal holds more than 20 franchise scoring records, totaling 289 goals and 399 assists (688 points) in 769 career games. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native has appeared in four All-Star Games and is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club of players who have won a Stanley Cup championship, an Olympic gold medal and a World Championship. Staal has served as the Hurricanes’ team captain since 2010.