Chicago Blackhawks All-Star rookie sensation, Connor Bedard, is going to see New Jersey Devils Brendan Smith in his nightmares.
According to a report, Bedard underwent successful surgery on his jaw following a big, clean hit by the 34-year-old veteran hybrid forward/defenseman, DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli revealed.
Hearing Connor Bedard underwent surgery on Monday to repair his fractured jaw.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 10, 2024
The hit by Smith has certainly raised some debate, however, it was textbook. Smith tucked his elbows, stopped his motion, and Bedard ran into him in open ice going for the puck. Even the Blackhawks head coach thought so.
“I don’t know if it was dirty,” Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson explained. “I think Connor was reaching for a puck and didn’t see (Smith) because he was behind one of their players. (Smith) didn’t step up on him. I think he just kind of stopped and Connor ran head-first right into him. I don’t think it was intended to injure or anything. (Smith) was just playing hard on the blue line and trying to keep the puck out of their end of the ice.”
Five days have passed since the hit and Smith did not receive a suspension. Nor will he get one.
Bedard’s recovery timeline is a projected 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, that means the youngest All-Star in NHL history is going to be absent from the All-Star Game in Toronto on Feb. 3rd. Chicago will need a replacement candidate for Bedard.
As a result of the hit, Nick Foligno dropped the mitts with Smith later in the game. Foligno suffered a fractured left finger. Both Bedard and Smith have been placed on injured reserve.
Smith did nothing wrong, however, you could say the Devils got their karma. They also lost Jack Hughes on the same night that Bedard and Foligno went down. Jonas Siegenthaler broke his foot the very next game after the Devils’ tilt with the Blackhawks.
Hughes is being evaluated on a week-to-week basis. His All-Star Game status is undetermined at this time.