Fresh off their Western Conference Finals loss to the Nashville Predators, the Anaheim Ducks announced that two of their best defensemen need surgery and are out long-term. Anaheim general manager Bob Murray announced that Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm require surgery to repair torn labrums.
Anaheim Ducks Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen Out Long-Term
It is not known when the injuries occurred. Both players played in all six games for the Ducks against Nashville. They also played regular shifts. According to Murray, Lindholm is expected to miss four to five months. Vatanen is expected to be out considerably longer. The exact time frame was not given.
The injuries come at a bad time for the Ducks with the expansion draft looming. Veteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa has a no movement clause in his contract. The Ducks will likely ask Bieksa to waive the no movement clause, but whether he will do so or not is unknown at this time. If he does not waive, the Ducks could opt to protect eight skaters and one goalie. This would mean that one of Vatanen, Lindholm, and emerging defenceman Josh Manson will be left unprotected.
The Ducks may have been trying to trade one of these defencemen, rather than lose them for nothing. With these long-term injuries the market as well as their potential return may have taken a hit.