Atlanta Thrashers: Patrice Cormier and Three Others Injured Before Training Camp

Name NameCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2010

Cormier's foot injury can be looked at as just another road block on the road to his NHL career.
Cormier's foot injury can be looked at as just another road block on the road to his NHL career.Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

According to numerous sources, four Atlanta Thrasher players have been injured right before training camp, the most serious of which going to a promising player with a bright future.

Highly touted prospect Patrice Cormier sustained a broken foot Thursday during the final four-on-four scrimmage of the prospect camp. After assuring teammates he was okay, Cormier managed to get up under his own power. Ironically, he turned out the be the exact opposite.

His foot was X-rayed on Thursday, with the final diagnosis coming Friday.

Cormier was playing fairly well, but the "dark cloud" that is injury essentially ruined his prospect camp.

"It says a lot about his character that he's trying to block a shot during rookie camp." Thrasher forward Evander Kane said about the situation.

Kane's comment wasn't the only praise Cormier received.

“He’s one of the most mature kids I’ve seen at his age—physically and mentally,” Dudley said. “He approaches it right. He got nasty in the first four-on-four scrimmage that meant anything.

"That was kind of nice to see. He comes to play and he’s got ability and intelligence to go along with it. There is nothing missing there. With Cormier, it’s just a matter of when. Whether he’s ready now or whether he’s ready a month from now. He’ll be ready. I would anticipate it will be this year.” said coach Dudley.

Cormier, 20, has found success at the minor level and international level, and is hoping to return from this injury to discover good fortune in the NHL.

In 158 career Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) games, mostly with Rimouski Oceanic, Cormier notched 52 goals and 61 assists for 113 points, as well as totaling a plus 20.

Internationally, the 6'2", 205 pound centre has won gold with Team Canada in 2009 and captained the team to a silver medal in 2010 at the World Junior Championships.

Cormier may also be recognized by an elbow headshot that has been categorized as "vicious" and "malicious."

Midway through the last season, Cormier was traded from Rimouski to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. In just his third game as a Huskie, he delivered a hard elbow to the head of Quebec defenseman Mikael Tam, which caused brain trauma. The league reacted by suspending him for the rest of the season and playoffs.

The Moncton, New Brunswick native was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round, 54th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Regardless of his recent issues, Cormier is looking to move on and enjoy a long career in the NHL.

Andrew Kozek, Jim Slater and Ian McKenzie are the other Thrashers who recently suffered injuries.

Kozek, 24, is sidelined with a sports hernia, and will be having surgery at a later date. He was drafted in the second round, 53rd overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The 5'10", 170 pounder has only played five AHL games, putting up two goals and a plus-two.

Slater injury isn't serious, he's day-to-day with a sore right wrist. Slater has played 335 career NHL games, posting 42 goals and 46 assists for 88 points, all with the Thrashers.

The same goes for McKenzie, in that his injury isn't serious. The recently acquired right wing is day-to-day with a groin injury.

McKenzie and Slater will be back come the start of the season, but the former will likely won't make the big club anyways.

Cormier could be back around November. Do you think he could make the team immediately without a training camp or AHL seasoning?

Stay tuned!


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