The Winnipeg Jets travelled to Vancouver on Friday where they’ll face the Canucks on Saturday, but defenceman Nate Schmidt won’t play on the short two-game road trip. He’s been placed on injured reserve after being forced to leave the game in the first period of Thursday’s overtime victory against the Nashville Predators.
The Jets cancelled practice again – they didn’t skate for the third time in the last five days – so there was no update on how Schmidt was feeling the day after he was run over by Tanner Jeannot.
Schmidt stayed down on the ice for more than a minute and was hunched over as he went to the dressing room. He did not return to the game. Head coach Rick Bowness confirmed afterward he was put in concussion protocol.
But they didn’t feel it was a dirty hit.
“That’s hockey,” said Bowness. “He didn’t see him coming. He’s a big guy. Nate didn’t see him coming, clearly, because he was fending off one guy and this guy comes out of nowhere.”
“I don’t necessarily think it’s a dirty hit or anything like that,” said Jets forward Adam Lowry who fought Jeannot after the check. “Anytime you see a teammate go down on a hard check, and I’ll be honest, I’m probably trying to make that same check if the roles are reversed.”
Being placed on injured reserve means Schmidt has to sit a minimum of a week, so he’ll miss at least the next four games.
Short a blueliner for the road trip, the Jets recalled Ville Heinola from the Manitoba Moose on an emergency basis.
The 21-year-old missed the last four Moose games with an illness, but has 10 assists in 13 games this season.
Heinola appeared in two games with the Jets earlier this season on an earlier call-up after playing 25 NHL games over the previous three seasons.
With Logan Stanley already hurt, either Heinola or Kyle Capobianco will be pressed into service on Saturday.
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