The injury woes continue for the Vancouver Canucks after Dan Hamhuis suffered his second concussion of the season in a collision with Rick Nash and teammate Kevin Bieksa on Sunday. Hamhuis took the worst of a three man collision early in the first period of the Canucks 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, appearing to have taken Nash’s shoulder in the head after sandwiching him in open ice with Bieksa.
The Canucks set a franchise record with their 50th win of the season, but the loss of Hamhuis put a damper on the party.
This marks the fourth time in his career that Hamhuis has suffered a concussion, with the most recent coming on February 10th in a game versus the Anaheim Ducks. As Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province mentioned, Hamhuis had talked about the possibility of retirement if he was to endure a future head injury:
“If there is more [concussions] to come, I think you have to take a look at what is important,” Hamhuis, the father of two, said after suffering a concussion last month when his head struck the glass on a heavy check by Ryan Getzlaf. “If I ever felt like it’s like putting myself at risk long term, then I’ll have to step back and think about things.”
Kevin Bieksa expressed his concern for his teammate following the game, hopes that time will help deter any inclination of retirement that Hamhuis may have:
“Obviously, that sucks and doesn’t feel good,” said Bieksa, who was paired with Hamhuis for two previous games after missing 15 with a foot fracture. “Let’s hope it’s not serious and he’s back soon. And let’s not read into that [retirement threat] too much. Guys are emotional after a concussion. Give him some time and see how he feels.”
In a Globe and Mail article from James Mirtle last Thursday, the Canucks ranked 7th in the NHL in man-games lost to injury with 306. Hamhuis will join fellow defencemen Alexander Edler and Andrew Alberts in the infirmary, in what is the tough loss of another veteran following last week’s news of Manny Malhotra being shut down for the season and playoffs after a gruesome eye injury.
There is no current timeline for Hamhuis to return, but you have to think both he and the Canucks will take their time with this one.