Brind'Amour out for 3 months, possibly the rest of the season
RALEIGH, N.C. — Carolina Hurricanes leading scorer Rod Brind’Amour will need surgery and could miss three months after tearing a tendon in his right hand.
Brind’Amour, who has 14 goals and 23 assists, was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. He was hurt on a first-period faceoff of Monday night’s 4-3 loss to St. Louis, although he wound up scoring in the third period.
“I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I felt it kind of pop,” he said. “It just kind of gave out.”
Things weren’t going too well as it is for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who have lost seven straight games and dropped to 13th in the playoff race.
“This is just the way bad years go. You get bad breaks,” general manager Jim Rutherford said.
Brind’Amour, a 15-year veteran, is one of the best face-off men in the NHL and a top penalty-killer. He leads the team with 20 points on the power play.
Surgery is needed because “there is potential damage to two fingers if he doesn’t get this done,” coach Paul Maurice said. “There really is no option. If there was one, he would play and get it fixed at the end of the year. This guy has played with broken bones in his feet. He’s played with just about everything you can play with.”
Maurice said Josef Vasicek would likely fill Brind’Amour’s place on the team’s second line, and Kevyn Adams would move up to the third line.
Some of Brind’Amour’s penalty-killing time could be filled by 39-year-old captain Ron Francis.
“It’s a blow, there is no question about that,” Maurice said. “We can’t replace him with an individual.
Brind’Amour will also be missed off the ice. The alternate captain is considered one of the hardest workers in the league.
“We can’t hang our heads and sit here and sulk because he’s gone,” defenseman Glen Wesley said.