Thursday, March 1, 2007

Leclaire Done for Season, Westcott likely to Follow Suit

After only 24 games as Columbus' starting goaltender, Pascal Leclaire has called it quits on the season. The decision comes only after months of a reoccurring injury to his knee that started back in December. We all had hopes that Pazzy would be back in crease before the end of the season, but the attempt he did make to return just reignited his ailing leg.

Leclaire, just 24, is said to be one of the great futures of the CBJ organization. He's said to have the skills and potential to lead this team since joining the Jackets' organization via the 2002 NHL draft.

Pazzy has played a total of 59 games in the Columbus sweater, including call-ups from previous seasons, his back-up duty under Marc Denis, and this season's starter spot. In his 24 games this season, he posted a 2.97 GAA with a .897 save percentage. While those numbers are short of spectacular, the GAA has decreased in recent seasons. That's shows promise, I suppose.

Duvie Westcott is also still out on injury. He hasn't played since January 6th, and his return isn't looking good. His concussion still affects him, particularly when his heart rate gets up.... clearly an issue in a fast-paced full contact sport. Until a few days ago, Westcott hoped to return to the lineup this week. When his headache problems sprung up on Tuesday, CBJ medical staff decided it would be best to postpone his return and go see a specialist.

While I would love to see either of these players get back on the ice before the end of the season, there's no sense in multiplying their risk of further injury by rushing them back onto the ice. The Jackets don't have anything left to play for with the playoffs out of the picture, so taking it easy is the way to go for the injured Leclaire and Westcott.


Anonymous said...

That Westcott injury sounds a little scary, especially since it has lasted this long and has to do with his brain. I hope he can recover eventually from this. Does anyone know anything more about an injury like this? Like are there people whose careers are ended because of injuries like this?

Tyler said...

Good question. Wikipedia seems to think that concussions aren't meant to last as long as Westcott's has. Granted, he isn't in constant pain and seems to only exhibit symptoms when at a higher heart rate. It may be possible that Westcott has a more severe brain trauma than originally thought. I'm no doctor, so I don't know anything for sure, but it does seem like two months is a lot of suffering for fit, well-dieted, well exercised individual.

As far as career-ending concussions, I did find some examples about a football player whose career ended because of this sort of injury. Steve Young, the great 49ers QB also ended his career with this sort of injury. Many thought Peter Forsberg would end his career after a concussion back in '05.

Although it is entirely possible for Westcott to be in serious trouble, I'd like to see what kind of prognosis he gets from the concussion specialist he is visiting this week. Let's all hope for the best.

Truth Serum said...

Trevor Lindros, younger brother of you know who, had to retire after about three seasons because of concussions. Scott Stevens of the Devils had to retire after his last concussion rather than come back.

Anonymous said...

Trevor Lindros??? I think you mean Brett Lindros.