Williams to miss most of season
The Hurricanes suffered a big blow today when forward Justin Williams underwent surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon.
Williams, who suffered the injury in an off-ice workout this morning, is expected to be out four to six months. The seven-year veteran missed much of last season with a serious knee injury.
Williams is one of the good guys in the NHL, a really personable youngster who now looks like he might have a very promising career derailed by injuries. I don't yet know if the Achilles tear is on the same leg as the ACL injury he had last season (and in 2002-03), but given the way these things work, it likely is.
The loss of Williams is a big one for the Hurricanes, who really missed him last year when he went down midseason. He's a point-a-game player who plays six minutes a game on special teams, split between power play and penalty kill, and takes on the heavy hitters on other teams.
Four months would mean he returns in mid-January, but an Achilles tear is a brutal injury — especially for a hockey player. Teemu Selanne really struggled with recovering from a tear he suffered ages ago, and has been battling knee problems ever since.
Six months would mean Williams doesn't see the ice until mid-March, with the season all but over.
Whitney - Staal - Ruutu
Samsonov - Brind'Amour - Eaves
LaRose - Cullen - Walker
Bayda - Sutter - O'Neill
UPDATE Red and Black Hockey says this all but guarantees Jeff O'Neill makes the team, which was far from a certainty previously.