Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin suffered a shoulder injury during Saturday’s 5-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens.
Per the NHL’s website, Flames coach Darryl Sutter confirmed on Monday that Hanifin will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the issue. “It’s better to get it taken care of now and get ready for next year,” Sutter said of the 24-year-old.
Hanifin recorded four goals and 11 assists across 47 games this season. He ends the campaign as Calgary’s leader in even-strength ice time per game (18:44) and total even-strength ice time (880:39).
Ahead of Monday’s home matchup against Montreal, the Flames are fifth in the NHL North standings with 45 points, four behind the Canadiens in the battle for the division’s final postseason berth. Montreal has a game in hand on Calgary.
According to The Canadian Press (h/t Sportsnet), Michael Stone is expected to move up to the second defensive pairing.
“You don’t replace that player, it’s not possible,” Sutter added about the injured Hanifin. “But I think one of the reasons that we are not in a playoff spot is there’s three or four young defensemen that have not lived up to expectations this year. They have nine games to compete with each other and find out which one or two are able to take the next step.”