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Dougie Hamilton suffers broken fibula; Jaccob Slavin named All-Star replacement

The Hurricanes will most likely be without their top defenseman until the end of the regular season.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

When Dougie Hamilton was on the ice injured last night in Columbus being tended to by Carolina Hurricanes athletic trainer Doug Bennett, astute lip-readers picked up on the fact that Hamilton seemed to mouth “I think I broke my leg”. Turns out, Hamilton knew what he was talking about.

The Hurricanes confirmed Friday that Hamilton suffered a broken fibula when he became entangled with the Blue JacketsKevin Stenlund late in the second period of the Hurricanes’ 3-2 loss Thursday night. Inasmuch as a broken leg can ever be considered a best-case scenario, there were no torn ligaments and no knee or ankle injury to speak of.

Hamilton underwent surgery at Raleigh Orthopaedic Friday to stabilize the fracture and is listed as out indefinitely.

The bone that Hamilton broke is the skinnier of the two bones in the lower leg. It is the same one that Jordan Staal fractured in the 2014 preseason. That injury, which also required surgery to repair, kept Staal out of the lineup for a little more than three months, and he returned on December 29. The same timetable for Hamilton would peg a return in late April, which essentially rules him out of the remainder of the regular season but could open the door to a return in the playoffs depending on if the Hurricanes make it and, if so, how long their run lasts.

The Hurricanes have not made a recall yet for tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, and it’s likely that Haydn Fleury, a healthy scratch the past three games, will draw back into the lineup in Hamilton’s place.

With Hamilton unavailable to participate in next week’s All-Star game in St. Louis, the NHL announced Friday that Hamilton‘s defense partner, Jaccob Slavin, would represent the Hurricanes for All-Star weekend. It’s Slavin’s first All-Star selection, and the release from the team is below.

Defenseman replaces injured Dougie Hamilton

The National Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin will represent the Metropolitan Division at the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend, to take place from Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis. He will replace Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who will miss All-Star Weekend due to injury. This marks Slavin’s first appearance at the event.

Slavin, 25, has registered 22 points (4g, 18a) in 47 games with the Hurricanes this season. He has recorded 137 points (27g, 110a) in 356 career regular-season games with Carolina and ranks 10th in franchise history in career points by a defenseman. Slavin recorded 11 assists in 15 games during the Hurricanes’ run to the 2019 Eastern Conference Final and set a franchise record for assists in a playoff series (9) in Carolina’s Eastern Conference First Round series vs. Washington. Slavin skated in his 350th consecutive regular-season game on Jan. 16 at Columbus, passing Eric Staal for the second-longest ironman streak in franchise history. His 350 consecutive games played stands as the seventh-longest active streak in the NHL.

The 6’3”, 213-pound blueliner ranks second on the team this season in average time on ice (22:35) and led the team in the category for three straight seasons from 2016-19. He has been assessed 54 penalty minutes since entering the league in 2015, which is the lowest mark by any NHL defenseman who has played at least 300 games during that span. Slavin ranks tied for third in the NHL in takeaways this season (52) and has finished top-10 in the category in each of the last three seasons.

The Erie, Colo., native was drafted by the Hurricanes in the fourth round, 120th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft. He played two NCAA seasons at Colorado College, registering 42 points (10g, 32a) in 66 games. Slavin was named National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Rookie of the Year in 2013-14 and was named First Team All-NCHC in 2014-15. He also played three seasons with the USHL’s Chicago Steel from 2010-13, earning 64 points (9g, 55a) in 139 games. Slavin represented the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, recording two points (1g, 1a) in five games.