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Wednesday morning, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that rookie phenom Connor Bedard would miss 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken jaw.
“Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard underwent successful surgery to repair his fractured jaw at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and we expect him to be out of the lineup for approximately 6-8 weeks,” team physician Michael Terry said in a statement.
The injury came during the first period of the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss vs the New Jersey last Friday. Bedard entered the zone on a Chicago powerplay and didn’t see Devils’ defenseman Brendan Smith. Smith checked Bedard hard, sending him to the ice. The rookie left the ice under his own power, holding his chin.
After the game, head coach Luke Richardson commented on Smith’s hit. “I don’t know if it was dirty. I think Connor was reaching for a puck and didn’t see him. I don’t think he stepped up on him. I just think he kind of stopped and Connor ran headfirst right into him.”
Smith was not penalized, fined, or suspended for the check.
Richardson spoke about Bedard’s injury after Wednesday’s practice. When asked if the 6-8 week timeline was what he expected, Richardson said, “I think they just are precautionary on a young guy having a trauma injury like that. If it’s earlier, great, but I think that’s probably a normal timeline for what they were thinking with the procedure they did.”
Richardson laid out Bedard’s rehab plan, as well. “There’s a timeline for him too…almost like a concussion protocol. I think he’ll graduate to the bike and the gym, then get to the [ice]. He’ll be trying to negotiate to get on early, I’m sure. We’ll try to manage that as best as possible.”
The news comes just over three weeks ahead of the NHL All-Star Game. Bedard, who was to be the Blackhawks lone representative at the game, will likely miss the festivities. It remains to be seen which Blackhawk will replace the rookie, as each NHL team is required to have at least one representative.
Stay tuned to CHGO Blackhawks for all the latest on Bedard’s injury and all things Blackhawks.
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