The New Jersey Devils announced that Simon Nemec would be joining the team for his NHL debut against the San Jose Sharks. The celebration ended quickly after we learned what was ailing star defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
It’s been a rough season for injuries. The New Jersey Devils have lost just about every star player for some time period. It seems like every time a player returns, another one goes down. After the Devils finally got Jack Hughes back, Timo Meier went down. Nico Hischier was already out with an unknown injury. Then, Erik Haula went down as soon as Hischier returned. With Meier back in the lineup on Friday night, the Devils received the worst injury news of the season.
The team reported that Dougie Hamilton, the team’s $9 million defenseman, would miss an extended period of time with a torn pectoral muscle. The injury is going to keep him out for months. It’s hard to say whether or not it is going to be a season ender. In normal times, it would be. However, new technology is getting athletes on the field/ice faster.
T.J. Watt suffered a torn pec last season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He returned to the field on November 13th. Maybe it wasn’t a fully torn pec, but it’s still the reported injury. He was out for just over two months. However, the normal timetable for this injury is four-to-six months recovery time. It usually skews towards the six-month timetable.
Max Jones tore his pec early in 2021 and never returned. Matt Dumba suffered the same injury, and he hasn’t been the same since. That’s the worry. Torn pecs have had much longer recovery times than other long-term injuries. Defensemen seem to have trouble recovering from this. Hamilton is on another level than the two players mentioned, but he’s also older than either of them.
This news is terrible, and the $9 million investment may never pay off. For now, the Devils need to find a replacement. For now, they look to rookie and former second-overall pick in the NHL Draft Simon Nemec. If he can’t do it, the trade market is probably their next target.