Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Thorburn out for at least three weeks due to injury

  • Print

Chris Thorburn – the popular cornerstone of the Winnipeg Jets’ grinding/checking GST line along with Tanner Glass and Jim Slater – will be lost to the team for its most-critical stretch of the season.

Head coach Claude Noel confirmed after an optional skate at the MTS Iceplex on Saturday that the gritty right winger will be out for at least three weeks with a ‘lower-body’ injury suffered early in Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames.

"He’s going to be out for awhile. We’ve got to check it out today, but it looks like it’s three weeks or longer," said Noel. "We lost him early and it got us down to 10 forwards because we dressed seven defencemen (and only 11 forwards) because we didn’t know what was going to happen with our defencemen situation. It really changed things around as the game went on. You could see that fatigue was becoming a factor halfway through the third period."

Thorburn has four goals and six assists for the Jets this season, but his contributions go beyond the point totals. He wears an assistant captain’s ‘A’, leads the team in fights and was a key part of the team’s checking line.

Noel said the coaches will decide in the next few days if Antti Miettinen or Eric Fehr will automatically replace Thorburn in the lineup and on the checking line or if the injury means a shuffling of the deck. It’s also possible the team may summon a player from St. John’s to fill Thorburn’s role.

"We have people in house, but it’s going to depend… that’s a different role, a different line, scenario, so it’s a good question," said Noel. "How do you restructure your lines? Do you? How do you do this now… do we go four lines, do we play 3 1/2? How are we going to juggle our forwards?

"It opens the door for opportunity for somebody else and we could double-shift somebody else that you want to get to get more minutes like (Blake) Wheeler, (Evander) Kane. Those guys have been doubling up in the last few games. The games are of heavy magnitude now so you try to win the games… I don’t care if you go with eight forwards. You’ve got to win the games.

"That line has had a true identity on our team and a true value on our team. There’s a real role there for that threesome. They feed off each other and drive our team in some areas. There’s no doubt that leaves a void, but it’s a fillable void."

Meanwhile, the situation regarding Dustin Byfuglien – who did not take the pre-game skate but then not only played but led all skaters with 27 minutes, 31 seconds of ice time Friday  -- remains a bit of a mystery.

"It’s an injury that we had to deal with different elements that were out of our control," said Noel. "That’s what threw a curve at us and I’ll just leave it at that. He’s fine. We’ll have to assess some things and see how he is. Is he going to practise Monday? We don’t know. There are some things we’re going to have to manage. This is the injury stuff you get in pro sports. You have to manage it. You’re on the road and you have to deal with some things that come up that you don’t have control over. Sometimes curveballs are thrown and you’re not sure what’s going on."

There is some potential good news on the injury front: defenceman Zach Bogosian participated in Saturday’s optional skate and will practice on Monday with the team. Noel is hopeful he’ll be back in the lineup when the Jets next play again on Wednesday at the MTS Centre against the Dallas Stars.

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Trouba talks about injury and potential for Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google