Mar 16, 2010, 10:00 AM EST
It’s been a rough season for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and perhaps no player on that team embodies those struggles quite like unheralded defenseman Jan Hejda. The team’s best defenseman will probably miss the rest of the regular season because of a sprained right knee, which must be familiar to Hejda since he’s dealt with similar problems regarding his left knee for a big chunk of this season. The Columbus Dispatch has more.
The sprain is similar to the one he suffered to his left knee Oct.13 against Calgary. He was tabled for three weeks with that injury, and it took him an additional month to regain his form.
Hejda was a plus-43 during his first two seasons with the Blue Jackets. This season, however, has been a struggle as the knee problem, coupled with rotating blue-line partners, have not allowed him to find his comfort zone. He entered last night’s game minus-14 with three goals and 10 assists.
Perhaps it just isn’t the Blue Jackets’ year. Hejda and fellow blue line leader Rostislav Klesla have been fighting injuries for most of the season, leaving the team with an unexpectedly porous defense. When you add those issues to the resounding crash of Steve Mason and the (in my opinion, misguided) firing of coach Ken Hitchcock, things are looking awfully grim for a franchise that just last year looked to finally be on the rise.
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