Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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.
What a heart breaker.

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.

Depth chart
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.

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At 4:52 p.m., September 17, 2008, Blogger Jonathan said...

Particularly bad news with Cole traded and Brind'Amour missing most of training camp after knee surgery. Peter Laviolette may be in tough, I think.

I guess the only guy that this is good news for is Jeff O'Neill.

At 5:49 p.m., September 17, 2008, Blogger John said...

As a Hurricanes fan, all I can say is this:


Williams is a great guy and a great player.

At 6:43 p.m., September 17, 2008, Blogger Bubba said...

O'Neill will have to outplay top prospect Drayson Bowman as well as someone like Dan LaCouture, who is also in town on a tryout.

There are several other options, as well. In my opinion, O'Neill is far from being a slam dunk, but I do look forward to watching him play. It won't be easy for him, being out of the game for a year.

We will see.

At 8:23 p.m., September 17, 2008, Blogger Miguel said...

I think the injuries are to opposite legs... last year was the left, this is the right. Maybe he isnt a Selannne case.

At 10:52 p.m., September 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Williams got injured in a stupid basketball-type of test where you run lines. Nobody did this test after he got hurt but why would you test this? What's the point for hockey players?
You can test max VO2 with stationary bike or treadmill, you can test strenght with different things, but there's no need to run lines in gym floor. What does that really tell you except Williams has a crappy tendon?
Do they tape players ankles like basketball players do? Of course not. This is just some eager conditioning coach trying to be a hero.
There's NHL teams where guys are tested standing in some freaking ball. Like Gretzky said: stationary bike is pretty safe because players rarely fall from the seat and you don't need brakes.
Stupidity is expensive. You lose Williams and pay his salary quite a long time before insurance kick in and you can also lose playoff spot which is worth 1.5M per home game.
What can you do...


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