As if Canada's national junior team lineup, with its ghost rosters and whatnot, is not already a moving target. The full extent of the injury that Columbus Blue Jackets second overall pick Ryan Murray, who's obvious captain material for Team Canada, suffered on Friday is not yet known, but it sounds like it could threaten his tournament if the MRI the 19-year-old is scheduled to have imminently reveals significant damage.
The blueline is arguably Canada's deepest position group ahead of the WJC in Ufa, Russia. Having Murray and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Scott Harrington, captain of the London Knights, available created the potential rare luxury of having a defence pair return intact. Moreover, this year's tournament represented a chance for Murray to get a shot at reversing the outcome of last year's world junior. As everyone remembers, with Harrington out of the lineup, Murray ended up being on the ice for the first Russia goals in Canada's 6-5 semifinal loss — the kind of rough night every teen defenceman has, only this one came in front of about 3.5 million people and Jay Onrait mined it for mirth on Sportscentre afterward. So, yeah, it would be rough for both Murray and Canada if he's out.
From Everett Silvertips beat writer Nick Patterson:
The way it was explained to me is that Murray collided with a Victoria player, fell awkwardly to the ice, then had the Victoria player fall on top of him. The full extent of the injury won't be determined until Murray undergoes an MRI after the weekend is over. This could threaten Murray's availability for Canada for World Juniors. (Everett Herald)
That was pretty circumspect. The Blue Jackets, as the team which does not have to worry about hiding injury information from any upcoming opponents for the (sigh) foreseeable future, were more detailed. It sounds pretty serious.
From Aaron Portzline:
"It's not good news," Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said. "Right now his arm is in a sling, held tight to his body, and he's in a lot of pain He'll have an MRI early this week, and then we'll know more.
"You'll have to see how much damage he's done to the labrum. Does he have any broken bones from the thrust of the fall? Once it's come out, it tends to come out easier in the future. Our doctors will take a look at the tests and we'll decide the next step."
"You'll have to see how much damage he's done to the labrum. Does he have any broken bones from the thrust of the fall? Once it's come out, it tends to come out easier in the future. Our doctors will take a look at the tests and we'll decide the next step." (Columbus Blue Jackets)
It stands to be a tough blow if it's as bad as feared. Defending champion Sweden also lost a big piece of its blueline two weeks ago when 19-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect Jonas Brodin broke his clavicle after being checked from behind by Taylor Hall in an AHL game. Brodin is a potential returning player.
Ottawa Senators first-round pick Stefan Noesen, a potential forward for Team USA if you listen to his NHL organization, reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain Saturday after getting tangled up in a scrum with Vancouver first-rounder Brendan Gaunce during a Plymouth-Belleville OHL game. Noesen, who wasn't included in the U.S. selection camp last season, is not playing in Sunday's Plymouth-Ottawa 67's contest.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.