One National Hockey League franchise has just crushed the playoffs hopes of their entire fan base in one single announcement.
On Monday evening the Minnesota Wild have officially announced that veteran defenseman Ryan Suter has suffered a fractured right ankle, and furthermore they have also added that the injury will require surgery to repair. The injury and the surgery will keep Suter out for the remainder of the 2017-2018 NHL regular season and is also expected to keep him out of the playoffs as well.
Suter suffered the injury during the final minutes of the second period on Saturday night when the Wild were matched up against the Dallas Stars. Suter took an awkward hit along the boards from Dallas Stars forward Remi Elie and while the impact itself looked relatively harmless, it was readily evident that not all was well with Suter on the ice.
The veteran defenseman who is not known as a player to embellish an injury was hobbling on the ice immediately following the hit and seemed unable to turn right or left as he hoped around and tried to remain in the play. As soon as the play was whistled dead Suter collapsed down to the ice and remained on his hands and knees for some time, a clear indication that he was not going to be ok.
The timing could not be worse for Suter who was on pace to have the best offensive season of his career as a member of the Minnesota Wild and in fact his 45 assists were already a career high for the 33-year-old defenseman. That 45 assist total also just so happens to be a Minnesota Wild franchise record, breaking a record that had been previously set by Ryan Suter himself.
Of course considering that the Wild are set to face off against a very tough Winnipeg Jets team in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in just a few days also makes the timing of this injury a complete and utter catastrophe for the Wild. There's no doubt that the team will continue to do it's best to advance through the post season however there's also no question that losing their very best defenseman has drastically impacted their odds of making it to the second round.
The Wild have not as of this writing provided any official update on how long it may take Suter to fully heal from both the injury and the surgery and as a result at this time it feels like a very safe bet to suggest that he will miss the entire 2018 Stanley Cup Championship playoffs. This is of course devastating news for the team.
We wish Suter all the best in his recovery.
Update: According to Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo Suter has not been yet officially ruled out of the entire postseason, which is good news for the Wild. But when you consider the fact that they will be without their best defenseman the Wild will be hard pressed to make a deep run in the playoffs, and that's what it will take for Suter to have any chance of returning before next season.