The Blackhawks have officially announced Patrick Kane will be out approximately 12 weeks after undergoing successful surgery on Wednesday for a fractured left clavicle.
"The procedure went very well and we anticipate a full recovery in approximately 12 weeks," Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement released by the team.
Kane left Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers after being cross checked into the boards by defenseman Alex Petrovic. Kane gingerly got up and skated off to the locker room. He did not return. The NHL will not be having a disciplinary hearing on Petrovic, who was sent to the box for a two-minute minor penalty.
The Blackhawks have about $6 million in cap space freed up with Kane placed on the long-term injured reserve list if they wish to make a trade as Kane's cap hit is alleviated as long as he is on LTIR.
Teuvo Teravainen was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League this morning to take Kane's roster spot.
Teravainen, 20, has six goals and 19 assists in 39 games with the IceHogs. He tallied two goals and two assists in 15 games with the Blackhawks when he was brought up in January to fill Kris Versteeg's spot after he suffered a broken thumb.
Kane is tied for the league lead in points with 64 (27 goals, 37 assists). He has been the Blachkawks' best and most consistent player all season.
It's a huge blow to an already struggling Chicago squad, as a 12 week prognosis means that Kane is likely out until the Western Conference Final, if the Blackhawks make it that far. The Blackhawks sit three points behind second-place St. Louis, and just four points ahead of fourth-place Winnipeg. Of course, injuries can sometimes be tricky, and he may return sooner, but don't expect him any time before the Western Conference Semifinals.
Can the Blackhawks make it past their virtually guaranteed first round matchup with the St. Louis Blues, and then the second round without Kane? It's possible, but not likely. The rest of the team is definitely going to have to step it up, especially guys like Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg, who will likely fill the second line wings with Kane gone.
Simply put: this sucks. We just have to hope that the 12 week prognosis is the high extreme, and Kane recovers much quicker than that. *cries*.
Adam Hess is the editor and publisher of Feathers in the Hat, and staff writer at Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter at @FeathersInDaHat. Follow Brandon Cain on Twitter at @BrandonMCain.