In a media scrum this afternoon, general manager Pierre Dorion acknowledged that Senators Colin White suffered a broken wrist in last night’s preseason opener versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.
White apparently underwent surgery this morning and will now miss the next six to eight weeks recovering from the injury.
White’s injury is the latest devastating news for a Senators club that already looks poised to start the season missing key contributors like Erik Karlsson, Derick Brassard and Clarke MacArthur.
Admittedly, White’s not quite at the level of those veterans (at least not yet), but he was expected to compete and earn a spot in Ottawa’s opening night lineup.
Listed as Corey Pronman’s 33rd ranked prospect in the former ESPN Insider‘s ‘Top 100 Drafted NHL Prospect‘s’ list this past summer, White is one of the few real blue chip prospects that the Senators have. So understandably, there’s going to a lot of disappointment from not only White, but in a fan base that wanted to get an extended look at one of the organization’s better prospects.
Of course it does not help that White suffered the injury while blocking a shot in a meaningless game.
Now he is likely destined to spend some time in Belleville as part of a rehab stint or an extended stay to prove that he’s worthy of a call up. So if you’re a Belleville Senators season ticket holder or a staunch believer that Ottawa’s best prospects would be best served developing in the AHL first, White’s injury is probably bittersweet news.
Then again, White’s injury likely opens the door for a Logan Brown or Filip Chlapik to push for a spot, and it’s not like either of these prospects has played in a professional game yet. (As an aside, it’s easy to envision the organization giving an extended opportunity to Brown in the same way that they gave Thomas Chabot extended time to spend with the team. As a player who’s been knocked for his work ethic, they could use this opportunity to spend time with and learn from his teammates on what it takes to be a successful pro.)
The alternative would be for the Senators to look at bringing in another veteran on a professional tryout (PTO) or signing a veteran who’s on a PTO with another club (Ie. bringing back a player like Chris Kelly, who’s on a PTO with Edmonton).
Considering how ineffective Kelly was with the club last season, I’d hate to see the organization go down that path again, but knowing how much the Senators value known commodities and veteran character, I wouldn’t rule it out.