Senior leader could be sidelined 3 to 6 months

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald file photoAs his team practiced Tuesday afternoon at the Kohl Center, hockey senior co-captain Ben Street was reduced to watching from the other side of the glass. After suffering an injury in Saturday’s 7-4 loss to Denver, Street will be sidelined for anywhere from three to six months.Street suffered what head coach Mike Eaves classified only as a “lower body injury” after being hit into the boards in the first period Saturday night. It didn’t take long for the forward from British Columbia to realize the extent of the injury.“When it happened, I knew something was wrong,” Street said. “When I tried to take a stride, I realized that it’s not quite right. It wasn’t just a little tweak or anything like that. It’s one of those things where I kind of knew it was serious.”After meeting with doctors since returning to Madison, Street and his team learned just how serious it was. At this point, it’s uncertain when — or if — he will return to the ice this season.“Obviously, it’s terrible news,” said junior forward Blake Geoffrion, Street’s co-captain. “He’s obviously one of our better players, one of our veteran guys. He’s been here for four years. It’s going to be a huge loss for us, for sure.”With Street out, the on-ice responsibility will fall entirely on the shoulders of Geoffrion, whose feisty personality served as a counterbalance to Street’s calming demeanor.“Obviously on the ice, the torch is kind of passed to him,” Street said of Geoffrion. “He’s plenty capable of taking this team. It’s his team now.”Geoffrion, who scored 30 goals last season, doesn’t see his role shifting much with his fellow captain unable to join him on the ice.“I don’t think a lot of things change,” Geoffrion said. “I’ve still got to do my job as a leader and as a player.”In the few days since suffering the injury, Street said he’s already heard a lot of support from teammates — both past and present.“It’s just been support from all over,” Street said. “There’s been guys from past teams calling, and all the guys on this team are supportive. … There’s not a whole lot you can really say, I guess. It’s kind of one of those unfortunate things that happens sometimes.”In the fashion one would expect a captain to react to a situation such as Street’s, he continues to remain optimistic. He hasn’t ruled out coming back this season and is holding out that the timetable for his return will be shorter than initially expected.“I’m guessing it will be somewhere in the timeline of three to six months,” he said. “I’m hopeful for less than that, but I’m kind of preparing for the worst. … It’s a tough break, but those sorts of things happen. You just have to take it in stride and go with it.”Despite not being out on the ice, Street will still have the chance to fill his captain’s duties from the locker room, something he and Eaves have already discussed.“We have talked about ‘How do I stay involved with the team? What becomes my role now?’” Eaves said. “I said, ‘Let’s find out what’s going to happen in terms of what they need to do, and we’ll go from there.’”“I’ll still be around off the ice, but on the ice or on the bench, there’s not a whole lot I can do,” Street added.If Street could find any positives from the situation, it is that the injury took place early in the season. Having played in just four games, he may still be eligible to take a medical redshirt, giving him another chance to play for Wisconsin.“All I know is that if you don’t play very many games and you get a season-ending injury, you’ve got a chance to [redshirt],” Street said. “We haven’t even explored that yet. … Once we find out exactly what’s going on, we’ll get a final decision and timeline.“We’ll explore that option, and it’s nice that it could be an option for me. If that works out and that’s the best option, that’s where we’ll go. … I definitely don’t want to leave this place.”last_img

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