The Columbus Blue Jackets up to date the standing of Zach Werenski, and it isn’t excellent news. The star defenseman suffered a separated shoulder and torn labrum and is predicted to overlook the remainder of the common season. The staff has additionally moved Nick Blankenburg, Sean Kuraly and Jakub Voracek on injured reserve, whereas recalling Gavin Bayreuther, Marcus Bjork and David Jiricek.

Blankenburg is out six to eight weeks with a fractured ankle. Kuraly is taken into account day-to-day with an upper-body harm. Voracek is out indefinitely with an upper-body harm. Erik Gudbranson can also be day-to-day however won’t play Saturday.

This is in regards to the worst-case situation for the Blue Jackets, who managed to win Thursday night time for simply the fourth time this season. The staff has already struggled to maintain the puck out of its personal web, permitting 57 objectives by means of 13 video games. By eradicating Werenski – and to a lesser extent Blankenburg – the defensive group now appears to be like extremely skinny with principally no first-pairing expertise. The 25-year-old additionally makes greater than $9.5M per season, a better cap hit than anybody apart from Johnny Gaudreau.

Without him, the staff all of the sudden appears to be like like a gaggle that might be unable to show round its robust begin. The draft lottery in a yr with a number of high-end prospects appears to be like like a tempting reward for ending close to the underside of the league.

The silver lining, maybe, is {that a} younger participant like Jiricek might obtain some fascinating NHL alternatives. Werenski was the quarterback of the staff’s prime power-play unit, a task that can now have to be stuffed by somebody. During Jiricek’s brief two-game style earlier this yr he did see a little bit of time with the person benefit, although he wasn’t capable of file a degree.

While they received’t admit it, the Blue Jackets will probably should transition this season right into a growth yr and begin wanting towards the longer term. That will improve hypothesis about Gustav Nyquist, Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo, all scheduled to hit unrestricted free company on the finish of the yr.

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