WADE BABINEAU EDITORIAL CARTOON: Saturday, March 28, 2020
CINDY DAY: MMM...marvellous maple
World Meteorological Week
FIDDLER'S FACTS: A disappointing end for Summerside Western Capitals
City of Charlottetown purchasing state-of-the-art drone for police ...
MARGARET PROUSE: During times like this, it's easy to find a bit of ...
VIDEO: P.E.I. man writes, directs $1 million thriller expected to ...
P.E.I. woman looking to be next Inked Magazine cover girl
SALLY COLE: A timely tale for P.E.I.
Justin Barron got a clean bill of health this week and is set to return to the Halifax Mooseheads lineup.
The 18-year-old defenceman hasn't played since Nov. 30 when doctors discovered a blood clot. But general manager Cam Russell said Barron is expected to play in Wednesday's road game against the Saint John Sea Dogs.
"He met with the hematologist and everything looks good," Russell said on Monday afternoon. "He was supposed to be taking full practice today. As long as that goes fine, which it should, he'll be good to go."
Doctors prescribed blood thinners to treat Barron's clot and gave him strict instructions to avoid body contact. He has missed 29 games during his mandatory recovery period.
"The most important thing is you have to go on blood thinners until the clot is completely gone, then you have to go off the blood thinners to get them completely out of your system," Russell said. "Once you do that, you get back to body contact and get ready to play. He's been cleared for all of that."
In similar news, forward Samuel Dube is also supposed to return to the lineup on Wednesday. He had a blood clot last season and needs time off on occasion to manage his ongoing condition. He has not played since Jan. 19 because of some required treatment and maintenance.
"It wasn't another clot this time but he had to go on blood thinners and wait," Russell said. "It wasn't the same or as long as the last time but with Dube what we found out last year is he has a specific gene that makes him more susceptible to clotting and blood issues. But there are players in the NHL that have the same thing and it's manageable so we just keep a close eye on him and we're very careful with him."
Barron will certainly have some game rust but it likely won't be all that bad because he has kept himself as sharp as possible during his recovery.
"Justin's been working out and skating for the past couple of months," Russell said. "Other than the body contact, he's been doing everything else. So he's been able to practise and stay in shape. He and Dube are basically on the same path."
Barron's return boosts a young Halifax blue line. Veterans Jason Horvath and Denis Toner have shouldered a heavy load, along with rookies Cam Whynot, Brendan Tomilson and Lucas Robinson. Sixteen-year-old Keegan Hunt was also called up after Christmas to provide help and Russell claimed 18-year-old Olivier Desroches off waivers from the Saint John Sea Dogs on Jan. 7. All of those players have done well to hold the fort during Barron's absence.
"It'll be nice to get Justin back," Russell said. "He's obviously a great player but it's also an important year for him because of the draft. It's important for us to get a guy with his experience and ability back to help out our young defence corps."
Russell also said overage forward D'Artagnan Joly is 50-50 for Wednesday after sitting out Sunday's home game with a minor upper body injury. If Joly doesn't play on Wednesday, it is virtually certain he will be back on Friday on the road against the Rimouski Oceanic. Forward Said Abi-Faycal will miss another four-to-five weeks with a shoulder injury.
As part of their four-game trip, the Mooseheads also face the Quebec Remparts on Saturday and the Shawinigan Cataractes on Sunday. There are 12 games left on the Mooseheads' schedule and they are five points behind the Gatineau Olympiques for the final playoff spot.