Oilers rookie Connor McDavid has a broken left clavicle and he will be out for months, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday morning.
McDavid will need surgery to repair the injury, Chiarelli said, and is expected to have that surgery today.
The Edmonton Oilers phenom, who won the NHL’s Rookie of the Month award for October, smacked into the end boards late in the second period Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. He lost his balance on a short-handed rush, perhaps stepping in a rut in the ice, and Flyers defencemen Brandon Manning and Michael Del Zotto rode the 18-year-old centre into wall.
It was a hockey play, something that happens nightly. Seeing the crash, Chiarelli said he knew, “This isn’t going to be good.”
McDavid left the bench at Rexall Place Tuesday night after the middle period ended and didn’t return. Referees did not penalize Manning or Del Zotto for the McDavid hit.
Chiarelli would not put a time frame on McDavid’s expected return, simply saying the 18-year-old will be out for “months.” He described the injury as “bad luck” that resulted from losing an edge.
“We’ll miss him for a while but we’re getting one player, Jordan Eberle, back which will help,” Chiarelli said. “Teams get catastrophic injuries and survive.”
McDavid’s injury is similar to those sustained recently by Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and also Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
The Hawks’ winger Kane broke his collarbone when he was cross-checked by Florida Panthers defenceman Alex Petrovic on Feb. 24 in Chicago. Kane lost his balance and crashed into the side wall by the right faceoff circle in the Panthers’ end. Petrovic got a minor for the cross-check.
Kane was supposed to be out eight to 12 weeks after surgery, but proved to be a quick healer and returned in seven week — in time to play in the first-round of the playoffs against Nashville Predators. The winger showed no ill effects from the injury, getting 23 points in 23 playoff games as the Hawks won the Stanley Cup.
Romo was injured in Week 2 when he was sacked by the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn’t need surgery and is expected to return Nov. 22 against the Miami Dolphins. Romo also broke his left clavicle in Week 7 of that 2010 NFL season and was gone for the rest of the Cowboys’ year.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in 2013 and missed seven weeks. Rodgers is no worse for the wear since his injury.
“Today feels like a loss but he’ll be back,” Chiarelli said of McDavid.