Kane out with a concussion
KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Jets left winger Evander Kane and New Jersey Devils defenceman Anton Volchenkov tangle during NHL hockey in Winnipeg Jan. 14, 2012. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agencu)
Add Evander Kane to the long list of high-profile NHL players currently on the sidelines with a concussion.
The Winnipeg Jets left-winger came to the Jets medical staff on Friday morning saying he had a headache and has since been diagnosed with a concussion, meaning he will miss Saturday’s pivotal game with the Florida Panthers (6:10 p.m., MTS Centre) and is likely going to be out until after the NHL All-star game.
Kane leads the Jets with 18 goals and is second in points with 31.
“He’s feeling better today, but we’re going to play it day-by-day and see how he’s doing,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel. “It’s part of the game and it’s another injury for me. You have to deal with people being in or out. How long it’s going to be, you don’t know.
“It’s a fairly grey area and you just don’t know what you’re dealing with, that’s the problem. Is it going to be a few days, is it going to be a few weeks, you don’t know.”
Noel wasn’t able to pin-point when the actual incident occurred.
“I have no idea which game, when all of this took place. I’m not sure he’s completely knows or when he was feeling these effets,” said Noel. “I don’t have any answers to those questions.”
Winkler product Eric Fehr will replace Kane on the Jets top line with Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler.
The Jets will also be without Tim Stapleton, who is dealing with a lower-body issue and will be replaced by Antti Miettinen.
As expected, defenceman Zach Bogosian returns to the lineup after missing the past five games with a lower-body injury.
With Bogosian drawing back in, it looks like Mark Flood will be a healthy scratch.
Meanwhile, defenceman Dustin Byfuglien joined his teammates on the ice for the morning skate but was sporting an orange non-contact jersey.
“It’s a little different, it’s pretty much my first day on the (knee) brace,” said Byfuglien, who will miss his 13th consecutive game on Saturday. “I just thought we’d go out and see how it goes. This is the first time I’ve ever had to (wear a brace). It’s not very good yet, so we’ll see what happens.
No decision has been made as to whether Byfuglien will accompany the Jets on their upcoming road trip.
The Jets enter Saturday’s action in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, but are only three points behind the Panthers and Washington Capitals in the chase for top spot in the Southeast Division.
Defenceman Derek Meech cleared waivers on Saturday and has been assigned to the IceCaps.
The Winnipegger has only appeared in two NHL games this season because of a knee injury.