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Petr Mrazek undergoes thumb surgery

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The Hurricanes goaltender said on his Instagram story that his recovery has begun.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek underwent surgery to repair his injured thumb, according to a series of posts on Mrazek’s Instagram story and confirmed by the Hurricanes.

Mrazek’s surgery, according to his social media post, was performed in Vail, Colo., earlier today. No timeline was given for recovery, but former Hurricane Bret Hedican underwent a similar procedure in 2007 to repair a torn ring finger ligament and missed a little more than a month to recover. Given that the injury is to Mrazek’s thumb, a fairly important piece of the goaltending toolkit, a lengthier recovery period - perhaps on the order of a couple of months - could be required.

Mrazek was injured early in Sunday’s Hurricanes shootout win over the Dallas Stars when he and forward Max McCormick inadvertently got tangled up in the Hurricanes’ goal crease early in the first period. Following the game Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said that he thought the injury was not as bad as it appeared, but backtracked a bit on Tuesday when he said that the injury was more serious than previously thought and that Mrazek was considering his options.

Mrazek has been one of the standout performers for the Hurricanes in the early going, helping the team to the top of the Central Division standings. In his absence, Brind’Amour said Tuesday that James Reimer would handle the majority of the workload, with Alex Nedeljkovic making spot starts to give Reimer occasional days off. We broke down what the goalie situation might look like while Mrazek is out here.

Mrazek’s decision to have surgery in Vail may seem odd with the plethora of medical professionals available in the Triangle, but a renowned hand and wrist surgeon, Dr. Randy Viola, has his clinic in Vail. Dr. Viola has long been a surgeon of preference for professional athletes, in much the same way as Dr. James Andrews has long been the athlete go-to for elbow issues. Dr. Viola performed the surgery on Hedican 14 years ago, and has also served as medical onsultant to the Denver Broncos, the U.S. Snowboard Team, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Update: The Hurricanes have issued an official release regarding Mrazek and his surgery:

PETR MRAZEK UNDERGOES SURGERY ON RIGHT THUMB

Goaltender leads NHL in GAA and save percentage

RALEIGH, N.C. - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that goaltender Petr Mrazek has undergone surgery on his right thumb. A timetable for his return will be determined in the coming days.

Mrazek, 28, has registered a 2-1-0 record, 0.99 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts in four appearances in 2020-21. He currently leads all NHL goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage, and he is one of five netminders to earn two shutouts so far this season. The 6’1”, 190-pound goaltender has earned a 46-31-5 record, 2.48 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and nine shutouts in 84 appearances with the Hurricanes since joining the team as a free agent on July 1, 2018. Mrazek has posted a 124-95-28 record, 2.60 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and 23 shutouts in 267 career NHL games with Detroit, Philadelphia and Carolina. The Ostrava, Czech Republic, native was drafted by the Red Wings in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft.