Dougie Hamilton Out With Injury
One day before the Carolina Hurricanes are set to leave for Toronto to compete in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, defenceman Dougie Hamilton is out with an injury. Hamilton was once again absent from training camp practice on July 25. Hamilton’s former broken fibula is not the cause of his most recent injury, according to The Athletics’ Sara Civian.
I’m hearing Dougie Hamilton’s injury is NOT a re-aggravation of his broken leg and timetable for return is in the realm of weeks not months. So not great news but could be way worse.
— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) July 25, 2020
Hamilton recovered from a broken left fibula, which he received in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan 16. He and Kevin Stenlund collided, leaving Hamilton to crash onto the ice at an awkward angle. As a result, the ‘Canes sidelined Hamilton for the final 21 games of the regular season. However, he was medically cleared to begin practicing when NHL training camps officially began on July 13. Less than two weeks later, the defenceman felt discomfort after leaving the ice, and did not attend practice on Thursday.
What This Means for Hamilton and the Canes
The nature of Hamilton’s injury remains unknown under Phase 3 protocols. Teams cannot release information regarding players’ injuries or absences; instead, the NHL requires teams to label players “unfit to play.” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour mentioned in a press conference that he hoped Hamilton’s injury was not “something that’s long-term.”
“He’s a talented player and very unique on the offensive side of things,” Brind’Amour said. “He was certainly missed when he was out for a large portion of the year and he’s a huge part of the offence of our team.”
Before his injury, Hamilton was a key piece of the Canes’ success. Hamilton was on track to reach a career-high 69 points, and was selected for the NHL All-Star Weekend. He was unable to attend and compete for the Metropolitan Division All-Star team. In addition, he was seen as a top contender for the Norris trophy, given to the best defender in the NHL. Even if he is able to return to the ice in mere weeks, he will be out of the running for the prestigious award.
The Canes will compete in Toronto, the hub city for the Eastern Conference teams, starting on July 29. The team will compete against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday in an exhibition game before the qualifiers begin on August 1. Carolina will face off against the New York Rangers on August 1 in its first match of the best-of-five qualifiers.