Blue Jackets’ Max Domi to miss start of next season

The hits keep coming for the Blue Jackets.

Following news that star defenseman Seth Jones did not want to stay at Columbus, the team announced on Friday that forward Max Domi had had shoulder surgery on Thursday, which would put him on the sidelines for five to six months.

Domi, 26, had a labral tear in his right shoulder repaired by Dr. Peter Millett at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., Effectively removing it early next season.

“Max had experienced discomfort in his shoulder, which he brought to our attention last week and a subsequent examination revealed a labral tear,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a press release. “Surgery was determined to be the best course of action and we look forward to Max’s return early next season.”

If the name of the surgeon and the clinic sound familiar, there is a reason.

Millett is the same surgeon and the Steadman Clinic is the same place where former Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson – Domi’s close friend – had a labral tear in his left shoulder repaired on March 2, 2020, before the pair was last traded in October in a deal that sent Anderson to the Montreal Canadiens.

Anderson, who struggled in 2019-20 before injuring himself in December 2019, had a strong rebounding season for the Canadians, who are in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Domi struggled for much of his first season with the Blue Jackets before showing significant improvement over the past month, finishing with nine goals, six assists and 15 points in 54 games.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Max Domi (16) awaits a faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third period during their NHL game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on Jan.23, 2021.

The team have not disclosed when or how the injury occurred. Domi missed two of the Jackets’ 56 games, but these were the first two healthy scratches of his NHL career, after a pair of misconduct penalties that forced him to miss most of the two third periods and have restless former trainer John Tortorella.

Domi, who the Arizona Coyotes selected 12th overall in 2013, will soon be a pending restricted free agent (July 28) and has one year left on his current contract. He has a career scorecard of 90-185-275 in 429 games divided between the Coyotes, Canadiens and Blue Jackets.

Domi’s surgery makes three seasons in a row that the Blue Jackets have faced a player in need of shoulder repairs. Anderson was first in 2020, Domi is the most recent and forward Gustav Nyquist last season missed a procedure last November to repair a left labral tear. Nyquist’s surgery was performed by Dr. Anthony Miniaci at the Cleveland Clinic. He should be ready when training camp starts in the fall.

Cannon fodder

Blue Jackets coaching and hockey operations staffing updates include:

– Nelson Ayotte, director of player performance for the team, has decided to step down from training. Ayotte, who joined the Blue Jackets in 2016 in an advisory capacity, is a decorated strength and conditioning coach who has previously worked with athletes from all major professional sports in North America and has both assisted the US Olympic athletics and Canadian national teams.

– Assistant coach Kenny McCudden, the Jackets’ top skill development coach, will retain this role for a coaching staff that currently does not have a head coach. McCudden, a longtime skills coach, joined the Blue Jackets in 2015 after spending the previous 16 seasons in the same role with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.

– The Blue Jackets have retained professional recruiters Rich Sutter and Bob Halkidis, whose contracts were due to expire this summer. The team also brings the director of European scouting Josef Boumedienne to Columbus as a professional scout.


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