Injuries are an inevitable part of hockey. During their career, every player is destined to deal with the bumps and bruises associated with one of the toughest sports in the world to play. The news passed down from the Carolina Hurricanes this morning regarding Frederik Andersen was a sobering reminder that hockey is just a game.
Just before 9:45 a.m. on Monday, the Hurricanes’ PR team tweeted that Frederik Andersen was dealing with a “medical issue” and was undergoing evaluations. General Manager Don Waddell provided further clarifications this afternoon, stating the issue specifically regarded blood clotting and that there was no timetable for Andersen’s return.
First and foremost, the Cardiac Cane staff wants to wish Frederik Andersen a speedy recovery. A player’s long-term health is far more important than the pursuit of a Stanley Cup. The love and support shown by the entire hockey community has been great to see all day. I hope he can take all the time he needs before returning to help the Hurricanes reach the top of the mountain.
Another part of the original tweet this morning was the signing of veteran goalie Jaroslav Halak, 38, to a professional try-out. Halak was on the ice today for practice. A 9th-round pick in 2003, Halak has been around the block a few times, playing for Montreal, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Vancouver, and both New York teams during his 17-year career. The two-time Jennings Trophy winner spent last season with the Rangers backing up Igor Shesterkin.
While the Hurricanes feature a sturdy duo of Antti Raanta and Pyotr Kochetkov in the net, potentially bringing Jaroslav Halak into the mix for now wouldn’t be a bad move. Though many quickly point out his age, Halak can still go. He put up solid numbers in his backup role last season. We’ve seen Kochetkov step into a similar role in the previous few seasons, albeit as a rookie. He was in the net when the Hurricanes clinched the division at Madison Square Garden, and he broke a rookie record for the team last December during the franchise-record 17-game point streak.
The timing of this medical issue is a shame because Frederik Andersen was playing some of his best hockey of the season. He made two excellent starts last week in Philadelphia and New York, splitting the two decisions. However, the personal health of a player is bigger than hockey. Hopefully, we’ll be able to celebrate Andersen’s return to the ice later this season after he makes a full recovery.