The Chicago Blackhawks placed Patrick Kane on long-term injured reserve on Friday, after Kane suffered a likely season ending lower body injury in a game against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night. The Blackhawks were tight-lipped on Kane’s injury, announcing only that he would miss approximately three weeks and that he was being placed on long-term injured reserve.
The loss of a player of Kane’s caliber would be a devastating blow to most teams, especially this close to the playoffs. In what can only be called an embarrassment of riches, the Blackhawks have a player that has been dubbed “the Finnish Patrick Kane” waiting in the wings. Teuvo Teravainen, who was the Blackhawks first round pick in 2012, has been playing with Finland’s SM-Liiga. Teravainen arrived in Chicago on Thursday, but did not play in the Blackhawks 3-2 Friday night win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Coach Joel Quenneville would like to have Teravainen in the line up before the Blackhawks current home stand wraps up, so Blackhawks fans should look to see Teravainen Sunday when the Hawks play the Nashville Predators, or at the latest on Tuesday night when the Hawks face the Dallas Stars.
Quennville, who is optimistic that Teravainen can make an immediate impact on the team, had this to say of the young Finnish superstar:
“He could be a special player in our league. Offensively, he’s definitely got a great set of skills as far as puck possession and recognition of plays.”
Quennville’s faith is well founded. Teravainen, just 19 years old, has spent the past three seasons playing in Finland’s top professional league. He scored 44 points this year while also serving as the Captain on the gold medal winning Finnish team at the 2014 World Junior Championships. The Blackhawks have Teravainen signed to an entry level contract that has three years remaining on it, and moving Patrick Kane to long-term injured reserve gives the Blackhawks plenty of salary cap room to add Teravainen’s salary cap hit of $925,000 to the line up. There are 13 games left in the regular season. If Teravainen plays in 10 of them, the Blackhawks will lose an entire year of that entry-level contract. With the playoffs on the line, and their number one center out for at least 24 games,it is doubtful that the defending Stanley Cup Champions are worried about the small print.
Teravainen doesn’t seem all that worried about replacing Patrick Kane. Asked about filling some mighty big skaes, Teravainen had this to say:
“There’s so many good players in this team. If I play here, I’m just one of those guys.I don’t need to be Superman here.”
Teuvo Teravainen is talented and smart…even a 19-year-old from Finland knows that the Chicago Blackhawks have drafted well.
[Image Courtesy rantsports.com]