Anaheim Ducks defenceman Cam Fowler will be on the shelf for another four to eight weeks, the team announced Friday.
This isn’t exactly “news” insomuch as it is an update on the expected reality for the Ducks, which has been a cavalcade of injuries to their blueline.
Fowler hasn’t played since October 20, when he was injured in the first period of Anaheim’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. He couldn’t put on his right leg as he was helped off the ice and many suspected the worst.
It took nearly a full week later for the Ducks to confirm what was patently obvious.
The club is also contending with an injury to Kevin Bieksa, while Sami Vatanen is also on the shelf and has yet to make his season debut.
The good news was that the Ducks got Hampus Lindholm back in the fold on Tuesday.
But losing Fowler for such an extended period of time is going to hurt. Anaheim spent big on the defenceman over the summer and inked him to an eight-year contract that should still pay dividends. It’s never easy to get off on the wrong footing, however, and Fowler is a critical element of the Ducks’ defence.
Without him, the team loses a power play quarterback and one of their best matchup defencemen.
And without him, the Ducks allowed a season-high eight goals against when they faced off against Florida on Thursday.
Fowler has two points in seven games this season and leads all Ducks in ice time with an average of 22:43 a game. He had 11 goals and 39 points last season and produced nine points in 13 playoff games.
This is Fowler’s eighth season with Anaheim and expectations are high. The injury and subsequent diagnosis knocks things off track for a time, but the Ducks are hoping to patch the holes and get on with it.
The 4-4-1 club will continue their road trip Saturday with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and will wrap things up on Sunday against Carolina.