Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal collided with Buffalo Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges during the third period of Tuesday's preseason game and left the ice with what is now known to be a broken bone in his lower right leg. From the team's press release:
Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:04 PM
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, tonight announced that center Jordan Staal suffered a broken bone in the lower portion of his right leg during the team’s preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.
Staal, 26, was injured during the third period when he got tangled up with Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges in the third period of Carolina’s 2-0 exhibition loss. Staal will return to Raleigh with the team on Wednesday and will be evaluated by team doctors on Thursday. A timetable for his recovery has yet to be determined.
Known for being a workhorse with rugged two-way play and durability, this is the first time Staal has suffered an injury in his tenure with the Hurricanes. Since being acquired via trade during the 2012 draft, Staal has played in every game over the past two seasons. Tonight's game was his first appearance this preseason.
Coming into the season, Jordan Staal was expected to play an integral part of the leadership core of the team, logging big minutes in all situations on all sides of the ice. He shares the top-line center responsibilities with brother Eric, who himself has missed preseason play for precautionary reasons after core muscle surgery over the summer. With uncertainty as to the extent of the injury and without a timetable for his return, the coaching staff will likely turn to centers Riley Nash and Victor Rask during the remainder of training camp to assess where they may be able to step into a role down the middle, along with Jay McClement and perhaps a switch from wing for Elias Lindholm.
For the time being, Jordan remains with the team in Long Island while they prepare for Wednesday night's exhibition game against the New York Islanders. He will return to Raleigh with the team and will receive further evaluation from team doctors at that time.
On behalf of Canes Country, we send wishes to Jordan Staal for his speedy and complete recovery, and will provide additional updates as they become available.