The Carolina Hurricanes have been dealt a significant blow, as defenseman Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken left fibula Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets and is out indefinitely, the team announced on Friday.
Hamilton underwent surgery on Friday in Raleigh. The Hurricanes didn't issue a clear timeline for his recovery.
Hamilton, 26, is in the midst of a Norris Trophy-caliber season with 14 goals and 40 points through 47 games. He was named to the Metropolitan Division All-Star squad. Teammate Jaccob Slavin will now replace him.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, find themselves in a heated playoff race; they enter Friday in a three-way tie with the Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers for the Eastern Conference's two wildcard spots.
Thankfully, the club has ample depth on the blue line. The Canes have been carrying seven capable NHL defensemen on their roster for the bulk of the season, and both Haydn Fleury and Trevor van Riemsdyk should expect to watch fewer games from the press box moving forward.