UPDATE: 3:19 p.m.
A Kamloops Blazers defenceman who was stretchered off the ice Sunday after a “dangerous” hit will not return to play in the Memorial Cup, but he returned to Sandman Centre on Monday morning to see his teammates.
Kyle Masters was thrown awkwardly into the corner boards Sunday late in a 10-2 Blazers win over the OHL-champion Peterborough Petes.
Blazers head coach Shaun Clouston said Masters was released from Royal Inland Hospital on Sunday night with a lower-body injury.
“I think that’s a dangerous hit,” Clouston told reporters on Monday afternoon.
“I thought there was emotion in it. I don’t think it was just, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go finish a check because we’re in the middle of a game and that’s the right thing to do.’ I thought at that stage it was a little bit of an attack. It’s just really unfortunate.”
Clouston said Masters visited the arena on Monday morning to see his teammates.
“He’s stiff and sore, but he seems to be in good spirits. They guys were really happy to see him,” he said.
“Maybe he was putting on a good face for the rest of the group because that’s what he felt the group needed, but he was in good spirits.”
Clouston said the Blazers will miss Masters on the ice.
“From a team standpoint, he’s an important player for us,” he said.
“Most nights he’s top two or top three in minutes and factors in a lot of different situations, so it’s going to have to be next man up.”
Import D-man Aapo Sarell, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday, will draw back into the lineup.
Clouston said he expects Masters to contribute off the ice.
“Kyle’s part of our leadership group, so when we meet and chat he’ll be part of that,” he said.
“And he’ll be there to cheer his teammates on, for sure.”
ORIGINAL STORY: 12:47 p.m.
The Kamloops Blazers defenceman who was stretchered off the ice Sunday at Sandman Centre is expected to make a full recovery, the club says, but he will not return to play in the Memorial Cup.
Little else is known about the condition of Kyle Masters, who was thrown awkwardly into the corner boards Sunday afternoon late in the Blazers’ 10-2 drubbing of the OHL-champion Peterborough Petes.
“We can say that he is going to make a full recovery, but will be out for the remainder of the Memorial Cup,” Tim O’Donovan, the Blazers director of hockey, told Castanet Kamloops.
After the game Sunday, Kamloops associate coach Don Hay told the Radio NL postgame show the stretcher was likely a precautionary measure. He said Masters wanted to get up on his own but was told by medical staff to stay down.
“He was fully awake and moving all of his extremities and was transported to the Royal Inland Hospital emergency department for further evaluation,” the Blazers said in a statement after the game.
Head coach Shaun Clouston is expected to provide a further update later on Monday afternoon.
The Blazers are 1-1 through two games in the tournament. They will close out their round-robin schedule on Wednesday against the WHL-champion Seattle Thunderbirds.