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Another bad break for the Wings

Sunday, 01.1.2012 / 6:08 PM ET
By Bill Roose - DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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Ryan Sproul was one of three second-round draft picks that went to the Wings last June. He's out indefinitely with a broken jaw.
If you play hockey long enough, getting stitches in the face is an expected evil. And while it sure seems like several Red Wings’ players have had their share of sutures this season, broken jaws and cheekbones is a player’s nightmare.

The Wings have had no fewer than seven players suffer facial injuries that have required at least some amount of stitches to close sizeable cuts this season. Unfortunately, defenseman Ian White (cheekbone) and forward Patrick Eaves (jaw) had greater damage done when they were struck in the face by fast-moving pucks.

Eaves even had his jaw wired and hasn’t played since Nov. 26.

But such devastating injuries haven’t been limited to the organization’s parent club this season.

Last week, 18-year-old defenseman Ryan Sproul, a Wings’ second-round draft pick last June, had a plate surgically inserted into his fractured jaw a day after he was hit by a deflected puck during an Ontario Hockey League game at Sault Ste. Marie's Essar Centre.

According to The Sault Star, Sproul was injured last Wednesday with 3:52 to go in regulation. He left the ice immediately, and spent the night at Sault Area Hospital.

Sproul’s parents, Phil and Paulette, were at the game, and Thursday morning they drove their son home to Mississauga, Ontario, where he underwent surgery later that day.

Unable to speak, Sproul took to his Twitter account (@sproully93), where Friday he provided the following update: “Just got up here at the hospital. Not feelin so good and my mouth is jammed shut.”

The pain associated with a broken jaw is excruciating and even more of a nuisance if the patient has allergies, like Danny Cleary, who had his jaws wired in Feb. 2008 after he was hit in the face during a game in Toronto.

In order to take his allergy medicine, Cleary’s wife, Jelena, used to crush his pills into powder and put it in his meals, which he sucked through a straw. Not sure if Sproul has allergies, but we know he's not yet able to use a straw, writing Sunday: “I can't stand being starved and can't have anything but soup through a syringe when my family is eating an unreal breakfast.”

Before his injury, the 6-foot-3 Sproul was the Greyhounds’ top scoring defenseman, netting 10 goals with 16 assists and a team-best plus-17 rating in 37 games.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80