Cormier out indefinitely with broken foot

Patrice Cormier’s training camp is over before it started.

The highly-regarded Thrashers prospect will be out indefinitely after suffering a broken right foot during rookie camp. According to the team, surgery will not be required.

Cormier, obtained as part of the February trade with New Jersey for Ilya Kovalchuk, blocked a shot Thursday during the final four-on-four scrimmage at the camp for prospects. He fell to the ice after being hit, but got up on his own and told a teammate he was fine.

Cormier was placed on the team’s full training camp roster only to leave the team’s practice facility on crutches. X-rays of Cormier’s foot were taken Thursday and the final diagnosis was made following team physicals Friday on the eve of camp.

“Excited,” was how Cormier described himself to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution a day before the injury. “That’s what we work for during the summer and that’s what we work for all season, to come to camp and have a great camp. That’s my main goal. We’ll see what happens when the main camp starts.”

Cormier, with mostly junior hockey experience, had a real chance to make the Thrashers roster, according to general manager Rick Dudley.

“He’s one of the most mature kids I’ve seen at his age – physically and mentally,” Dudley said. “He approaches it right. [Tuesday], he got nasty in the first four-on-four scrimmage that meant anything. That was kind of nice to see. He comes to play and he’s got ability and intelligence to go along with it. There is nothing missing there. With Cormier, it’s just a matter of when. Whether he’s ready now or whether he’s ready a month from now. He’ll be ready. I would anticipate it will be this year.”

The 20-year-old Cormier has been highly regarded since being drafted in the second round (No. 54 overall) by New Jersey in 2008. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder played for gold-medalist Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championships and captained the 2010 silver-medalist team.

Cormier played three seasons for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he had 52 goals and 61 assists. Twenty-eight games into last season, he was traded to Rouyn-Noranda. In his third game with the Huskies, Cormier delivered an elbow to Quebec defenseman Mikael Tam’s head, causing brain trauma. He was subsequently suspended for the season and playoffs.

Cormier has a court date on Monday in an assault case filed because of the hit.

It was during his suspension that the Thrashers acquired Cormier. Once Rouyn-Noranda’s season was over, Cormier was eligible to play nine playoff games for the Thrashers’ AHL affiliate in Chicago, finishing the postseason without a point.

“I think I’m strong enough,” Cormier said of his chances to make the NHL. “I can’t say 100 percent I can play in the NHL. I haven’t played in the NHL, so I don’t know. We’ll see. Hopefully I get into a couple of exhibition games. A lot of guys are going to get chances to play exhibition games. Rookie camp is hard work, but once you get with the big guys that’s when you see the guys that are ready and the guys that are not ready. From that moment on, I’ll be able to tell you.”

Evander Kane (15 games), Mark Popovic (22 games) and Kovalchuk (six games) all missed time last season after breaking a foot.

“I went through this myself last year and missed the playoff stretch,” Kane said. “I’m disappointed for him because he had such a positive chance to make the team. For a teammate, because I’ve known him for a few years, it difficult to take. It’s part of hockey. It says a lot about his character that he was trying to block a shot during rookie camp.”

The Thrashers announced several other injuries at the start of training camp. Forward Jim Slater is day-to-day with a sore right wrist. Forward Andrew Kozek is sidelined with a sports hernia and will have surgery at a later date. Forward Ian McKenzie is day-to-day with a groin strain.

26 comments Add your comment

Badger Bob

September 17th, 2010
4:42 pm

Not as dire as it would have been in past years, due to depth. His “return” could be a good November boost.


September 17th, 2010
4:43 pm

Is there a Thrashers rookie curse?


September 17th, 2010
4:47 pm

I can’t believe they can’t make a skate with some kind of Kevlar or something in it to address this.

Thrashy Thrashy

September 17th, 2010
4:48 pm

Better to happen now than later, right?


September 17th, 2010
5:00 pm

Slater was probably breathing a sigh of relief when he saw that Cormier was felled with the broken foot. Now what looked to be a position of depth (strength?) is a bit of a mystery if Slater’s wrist takes longer to heal than expected — hopefully they learn from the Bogosian situation last year. I guess Kaner, Thorbs and Rissmiller all can play C if need be should Slater & Cormier are on the mend. Burmistrov must be salivating now.

hip czech

September 17th, 2010
5:15 pm

Smoothie, I still would like to see Little moved to center. I can’ back this up with stats, but purely on observation he’s good in the faceoff circle and he has the wheels to take advantage of the center of the ice (unlike Antropov).

Yeah, Slater is breathing a sigh of relief, for now.

Too bad, I was really looking forward to seeing Cormier play Tuesday night. I guess that might clinch Burmistrov sticking for 9 games if he has some decent exhibition games.


September 17th, 2010
5:17 pm

This could be the best, down the road, for Cormier. He heals, rehabs and makes his return in Chicago and gets up to game speed there. Remember, he has not played many games this entire calendar year following the mid-January elbowing incident.

In fact, as no surgery is required on Patrice’s foot he may be ready to go at the beginning of the AHL season.


September 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

who’s shot he blocked bring this shooter to nhl. feel sorry for corm. please come back stronger.


September 17th, 2010
5:27 pm

Slater w/ a ’sore wrist’ doesn’t sound like much of a set back. He doesn’t really need to play a lot until after the first wave of cuts anyway. A lot of returning regulars don’t make the first road trip. Having all new coaches changes the equation a bit but they can’t get them all into the games. So, hold Slates out until after the first two pre-season games and have him skate a lot to keep his legs.


September 17th, 2010
6:20 pm

I have a feeling espo my the dark horse of training camp


September 17th, 2010
6:21 pm

Does anyone know how long an injury like Cormier usually last?

icy nards

September 17th, 2010
6:26 pm

I’m not worried about his foot. How’s his elbow?

liquid fart

September 17th, 2010
6:38 pm

bad news but this kid is tough and he’ll be back. why can’t hainsey break a foot ?.. well he’s not a rookie and he has never actually blocked a shot. nevermind.


September 17th, 2010
7:18 pm

I use the same screen or address name name everywhere. Email, at work, at home, on all boards that I am known on, on facebook and myspace where my name and picture is posted.

I’m betting some people don’t.


September 17th, 2010
10:19 pm

I feel bad for Cormier because from all accounts it sounds like he had a great shot of making the opening day roster but even if he doesn’t start the season with the Thrashers I’m sure he’ll still make an impact on the team before the season’s over.

I agree that this is great news for Burmistrov, and I see him stepping up and taking advantage of the opportunity. This is how I see the Thrashers opening day roster as of right now but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another move or two before the season starts.

LW C RW D G Press box
Kane Antropov Bergfors Enstom Oduya Mason Dawes Boulton Valabik
Ladd Burmistrov Little Bogosian Hainsey Pavelec
Pettersson Peverley Modin Byfuglien Sopel
Eager Slater Thorburn


September 17th, 2010
10:22 pm

Grrrr it didnt post the way i typed it.

Anyway those are the lines and defensive pairings. Dawes, Boulton, and Valabik in the press box.

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution Analysis: Cormier, best known for his dirty hit in the QMJHL last season, is attempting to earn a spot on the Thrashers this season. His penchant for penalty minutes along with his ability to score make him an attractive deep sleeper option, but this injury will hurt his chances of playing in the NHL this season. [...]

Goof Loser

September 18th, 2010
12:24 am

The longer this guy is out of hockey the better. This thug doesn’t deserve to play in the NHL. Go look at the tape.


September 18th, 2010
12:46 am

ive heard that crap since we acquired cormier! ive seen the tape and im still thrilled we have the kid. Those kinds of things happen when you get immature kids playing an aggressive game. He will learn to control his emotions (im willing to bet he already has to some extent) and continue to develop into a very solid and gritty player.


September 18th, 2010
1:09 am

maybe this will allow him to serve his time???? I hope he will be okay but is he okay really?


September 18th, 2010
1:10 am

or is it same type of curse as Esposito? I hope not….

Goof Loser

September 18th, 2010
2:34 am

joe, there’s immature, over-aggressive play and there’s criminal intent to injure. Cormier definitely crossed that line and the Quebec courts obviously agree. Personally, I hope he’s convicted and his career interrupted, but I also realize that’s unlikely. Just a shame that he has to pollute a Thrashers jersey in the meantime. Thug! Talented player, but still a thug.


September 18th, 2010
8:37 am

Kracker, I hope liquid fart doesn’t post a picture on any site!!!!


September 18th, 2010
9:15 am

So goof did Messier, howe who was nicknamed Mr.Elbows, scott Stevens deserve to play?

Sage of Bluesland

September 18th, 2010
9:22 am

OK, here is Excuse #1 for the upcoming season…

(A bad one at that, too.)

Oh well, as someone so wishedly opined earlier–thank goodness for our “depth”…Uh-huh, sure…Those “Legends of Blueland” will fill our roster; that “gusher” of a talent-pipeline from the minors will save us!…Uh-huh, sure…


September 18th, 2010
10:01 am

I can play forward.