Hurricanes’ Mrazek, Reimer, Pesce out with long-term injuries

The Hurricanes lost both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek to injuries, forcing them to bring in emergency goaltender David Ayres to play against the Maple Leafs.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Carolina defenceman Brett Pesce and goaltenders James Reimer and Petr Mrazek are all dealing with "longer term" injuries suffered in a weekend win at Toronto, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Monday.

Brind’Amour said it was unclear exactly how much time the players will miss. Reimer left with a lower-body injury, while Brind’Amour said Mrazek is dealing with a concussion and Pesce has a shoulder injury.

"Obviously nobody’s, I would say, short term," Brind’Amour said. "Longer term for, really, all of them. That’s about all I can tell you."

Later Monday, team president and general manager Don Waddell said the team has moved Pesce to the long-term injured reserve — aiding the team with salary-cap moves — but that he didn’t think the goaltenders would be out "long term." He also said Mrazek is going through the concussion protocol and has "more of a neck injury," though he hasn’t had a headache.

"It’s weeks at the most," Waddell said of the goaltenders. "Petr might be less than that."

The injuries to Reimer and Mrazek forced the Hurricanes to turn to 42-year-old emergency goaltender David Ayres in the 6-3 win.

Reimer’s injury occurred when Toronto’s Zach Hyman pushed Carolina defenceman Jaccob Slavin into Reimer’s left leg, sending both falling into the net. Mrazek was hurt in the second period on a collision with Maple Leafs forward Kyle Clifford, leading to Ayres’ entry.

The Hurricanes have since recalled goaltenders Anton Forsberg and Alex Nedeljkovic from Charlotte of the American Hockey League ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Dallas.

As for Pesce, Brind’Amour said the 25-year-old defenceman was scheduled to be evaluated again later Monday. But any extended absence would be another hit for a team that lost All-Star defenceman Dougie Hamilton indefinitely to a broken left leg in January and is jostling for position in the Eastern Conference playoff wild-card chase.

The Hurricanes acquired centre Vincent Trocheck from Florida ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline Monday afternoon, parting with forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark along with a pair of prospects. They also added defenceman Sami Vatanen from New Jersey, while Waddell said the team had a pending deal in place to acquire defenceman Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers for what will be the lower of Carolina’s two first-round picks.

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