Calgary Flames defenceman Noah Hanifin will miss the remainder of the regular season and requires shoulder surgery, the organization announced Monday.
Hanifin was injured in the second period of Saturday’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens after tangling with Corey Perry. The defenceman fell after his left leg gave out from under him and he slammed into the ice with his shoulder.
“It’s better to take care of it now and get ready for next year,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said Monday.
Ahead of Monday’s game against the Habs, Calgary is four points behind Montreal. The Canadiens possess the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division and had a game in hand against the Flames.
The 24-year-old blueliner has four goals and 11 assists in 47 games this season, averaging about 20 minutes of ice time.
“You don’t replace that player,” Sutter said. “It’s not possible, but I think one of the reasons we are not in a playoff spot is there are three or four young defencemen who have not lived up to expectations this year. They have nine games to compete with each other and find out which one or two are able to take the next step.”
The Flames will draw on Michael Stone in Hanifin’s absence. He played his first game in 13 months on March 27 after contending with a blood clot in his arm. The 30-year-old has two points in a dozen games this season.
“He’s one of the reasons we are being able to stay alive here” said Sutter. “He’s stepped up and stepped in and his experience has been noticeable. I think it’s helped whoever he’s played with.”
Nikita Nesterov made Monday’s lineup against Montreal. He has three points in 31 games with Calgary this season.
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