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Canes’ Staal sidelined with concussion; Maenalanen called up

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) against the San Jose Sharks during an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) against the San Jose Sharks during an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) AP

The Carolina Hurricanes, caught in a three-game losing streak, learned Thursday that center Jordan Staal will be sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.

Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Staal would re-evaluated once the team returns from its West Coast trip, which ends Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Staal, the Canes’ best checking center and one of its more physical players, was injured Wednesday during the third period of a 5-1 loss to San Jose.

The Canes already were without forward Micheal Ferland, who has missed the past three games with a concussion. Ferland leads the team in goals with 11 and also has given Brind’Amour an added degree of toughness in his first season with Carolina.

The Canes on Thursday recalled forward Saku Maenalanen from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. The Finn is expected to make his NHL debut Friday against the Anaheim Ducks as Carolina ends a three-game road trip.

Maenalanen, 24, signed with the Canes as a free agent in May. A former draft pick of the Nashville Predators, the 6-4, 207-pound forward has four goals and seven assists in 23 games for the Checkers in his first season in North America.

Maenalanen scored 17 goals in 59 games with Oulun Karpat of the SM-Liiga in Finland last season.

Staal, 30, sustained a concussion in a late-November 2016 game against the Florida Panthers and missed seven games.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.


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