According to multiple outlets, Chicago Blackhawks right-winger Patrick Kane will be sidelined six to 10 weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout win over Florida.
Kane was driven into the boards at 7:49 of the first period from the force of a cross check to the lower back by Panthers defenceman Alex Petrovic, who was assessed a two-minute minor penalty on the play but reportedly won’t have a hearing or suspension.
It's thought Kane might have suffered a broken collarbone.
Kane had 64 points entering play Wednesday, tied with Philadelphia’s JakubVoracek and Washington’s NicklasBackstrom, but is awarded top spot with his 27 goals.
“You get ticked off when the best player in the league gets hit like that,” Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg told reporters. “He’s 20 to 30 points ahead of the next guy on the team [actually 15 ahead of Jonathan Toews]. That’s hard to replace that scoring.”
Kane, who hasn't missed more than 13 games in any regular season during his eight-year NHL career, sat out the final 12 games last season with a knee injury.
"I don't think you can replace the things that he does with the puck, without the puck, the attention that he draws, but one of the strengths of the organization is depth," Chicago forward Patrick Sharp said.
Indeed. Six other Blackhawks have double-digit goals this season and seven others have more than 30 points.
The NHL club is expected to recall top prospect Teuvo Teravainen from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League to take Kane's roster spot.
Teravainen, 20, has nine goals and 25 points in 39 games for the IceHogs this season. He has two goals and four points in 15 contests with Chicago.
Interestingly, Teravainen was summoned from the minors when Kane was out of the lineup last season. The 2012 first-round pick helped Finland win gold at the 2014 world junior hockey championship.
The Blackhawks entered play Wednesday fourth in the Western Conference with a 36-20-5 record.