CHICAGO (AP)Chicago Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira spent the night in a hospital after he was leveled by Jacob Trouba during a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers.
Team physician Michael Terry said Khaira was released Wednesday morning after undergoing ”extensive testing.” The Blackhawks cited the NHL’s concussion protocol when they placed Khaira on injured reserve later in the day.
”Despite the significant injury, his prognosis is excellent, and we expect a full recovery,” Terry said in a news release. ”At this point, it is too early to put a timeline on return to play.”
Khaira’s head was down as he gathered the puck in the second period Tuesday night. He looked up just as Trouba appeared to drive his right shoulder into Khaira’s chin.
The back of Khaira’s head bounced hard off the ice, and there was no sign of any movement from him as the Blackhawks and Rangers scuffled nearby.
A stretcher was wheeled onto the ice, and medical personnel worked on Khaira as each team looked on from the bench area. A handful of his teammates and the Rangers tapped the stretcher as Khaira was taken off.
”Personally I was pretty shaken,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said after the loss. ”I’m not going to lie to you. Just glad to hear he’s doing OK.”
Trouba, who also delivered a big hit on Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon during New York’s 7-3 loss Wednesday night, said he exchanged texts with Khaira.
”It was very scary, unfortunate,” Trouba said. ”He was telling me he’s doing OK, so that’s good to see. But obviously no one wants to see that. No one plays the game to see guys get injured or injure guys.”
The 27-year-old Khaira has two goals and no assists in 18 games in his first season with the Blackhawks. He agreed to a two-year contract in July that carries a $975,000 salary-cap hit.
Khaira was selected by Edmonton in the third round of the 2012 draft. He made his debut with the Oilers on Nov. 28, 2015, becoming the third player of Punjabi descent to play in the NHL.
Khaira has 26 goals and 39 assists in 276 career games.
Also Wednesday, the Blackhawks recalled forwards Mike Hardman and Philipp Kurashev from Rockford and assigned defensemen Wyatt Kalynuk and Ian Mitchell to their American Hockey League affiliate.
Forward MacKenzie Entwistle was activated from injured reserve and assigned to Rockford. He had been sidelined by a left ankle injury.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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