By Murray Pam
The Ottawa Senators defense suffered a blow just minutes into the first day of practice Saturday. Filip Kuba caught a rut on the freshly surfaced Scotiabank Place ice. Kuba is said to have a serious right leg injury. Kuba was carried off the ice by his teammates and left the building to have x-rays.
Coach Cory Clouston was not optimistic regarding the immediate health of Kuba.
“We may have to start the season without him” Clouston said. “I guess if you are going to do it (get injured), it’s a lot better than doing it at the end of the year and missing the playoffs.”
Kuba had an injury plagued 2009-10 season, missing 29 games including the opening round of the playoffs against Pittsburgh. Kuba injured his back at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Despite that, he led the Senators defense in points with 28.
Kuba was expected to be in the second pairing on defense for Ottawa with sophomore Erik Karlsson. Newly acquired Sergei Gonchar and veteran Chris Phillips are the club’s No. 1 unit.
Kuba’s untimely injury may lead for an opportunity for highly touted youngster Jared Cowen.