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Blackhawks lose Hall for season to ACL surgery

Former Hart Trophy winner and five-time NHL All-Star Taylor Hall will undergo surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss the rest of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday.

Coach Luke Richardson said Hall will have ACL surgery.

“He’s very disappointed,” Richardson said. “But it just came from [an] accumulation of a bunch of little injuries in the game and even in practice the other day. It just became unstable that we have to fix that now.”

Hall, who had two goals and four points in 10 games, was injured when he was hit by the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s Michael Eyssimont on Nov. 9. Hall returned in Saturday’s loss at Nashville and logged more than 17 minutes in Sunday’s loss against Buffalo before missing Wednesday’s defeat at Columbus with what was previously described as an undisclosed injury.

“A guy just pulled him down. It was just a nothing play, and just the way he fell on it, that was kind of one of the last straws,” Richardson said. “Then he tried to get through it and in practice he just caught a rut and it finalized him.”

Hall, 32, had already missed six games this season with a lower-body injury and a shoulder ailment.

The Blackhawks acquired Hall in an offseason trade from the Boston Bruins, who were looking to shed salary cap space and did so by moving on from him with two years remaining on a contract worth $6 million annually.

Getting Hall was thought to benefit the Blackhawks in several ways, the main one being that he could serve as a linemate and mentor to Connor Bedard, the Regina Pats center Chicago took with the No. 1 pick of this year’s draft.

Placing Hall with Bedard would give the 18-year-old, who has been touted as the NHL’s next generational talent, an experienced, prolific winger who could guide him on and off the ice through an important time in the Blackhawks’ rebuilding effort.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Bedard said. “Someone that loves to play so much, and every game so impactful and such a good hockey player, but such a good person and means so much to our group. … We know he’s still going to be around and of course a big part of the team.”

The Blackhawks entered Thanksgiving with a 5-12-0 record and sit three points above the San Jose Sharks for the NHL’s worst record. They placed Hall and forward Andreas Athanasiou on injured reserve Thursday. The move with Athanasiou, who has a groin injury, was made retroactive to Nov. 9. Forwards Joey Anderson and Cole Guttman were recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League.

Also Thursday, Richardson declined to talk about why forward Corey Perry was a healthy scratch for the loss to the Blue Jackets.

“We’re going to keep that internal in the organization right now,” he said. “I’m unable to answer any more questions about that.”

Perry was acquired in a June trade with Tampa Bay. He then agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Blackhawks. He has four goals and five assists in 16 games.

“Just know he’s not with us,” teammate Nick Foligno said. “We haven’t really gotten any details.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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