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Report: Coyotes’ Hjalmarsson suffered cracked fibula, out months

Niklas Hjalmarsson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes could be without defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson for about three months after a blocked shot cracked his fibula on Saturday, reports The Athletic’s Craig Morgan.

The defenseman was removed from the road game against the Colorado Avalanche following the first period with what the team is calling a lower body injury.

Hjalmarsson blocked Erik Johnson’s shot before exiting the game. Hjalmarsson could be seen heading to the bench hunched over in discomfort.

“That’s a big loss for us. Nik is a good defenseman,” head coach Rick Tocchet told reporters after the game. “We’re going to miss Nik if he’s out for a bit.”

With Hjalmarsson out for a significant period of time, the Coyotes could potentially turn to defenseman Kyle Capobianco, who is currently with the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL.

Capobiano made the Coyotes’ team for the 2019-20 opener but was sent to Tucson before this weekend. He and Ilya Lyubushkin could be the most leaned-upon Arizona players with Hjalmarsson missing time.

Hjalmarsson has a goal scored in four games and averaged 14:54 of ice time, a number that so early in the year is skewed after he suffered his fibula injury in the first period Saturday.

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