Jared Spurgeon, the Minnesota Wild’s captain, will miss the remainder of the season due to back and hip surgery. Spurgeon has been limited throughout the season, appearing in only 16 games this year. However, he hasn’t played since January 2nd due to ongoing lower-body injuries. This includes an injury sustained during the preseason that forced him to miss the month of October and parts of November.

The 34-year-old NHL veteran, who is in his 14th season with the Minnesota Wild, has had a disastrous season. Spurgeon has just five points this season, but he had an impressive 11 goals and 34 points in 79 games last season. Still, injuries have plagued him in recent seasons, with the defender missing at least 70 games in five of his last seven seasons, including this year.

Despite his injuries, Spurgeon has established himself as a successful NHL player. With 867 career games, he is the most experienced defenseman in Wild history, surpassing second-place Ryan Suter’s 656 games. Only one player has played more games for the Wild: former captain Mikko Koivu, who spent his entire 1,028-game career in Minnesota. Spurgeon is fourth in all-time scoring for the club, trailing only Koivu, Marian Gaborik, and Zach Parise.

A clear and troubling news Wild captain set to undergo Surgery this morning
A clear and troubling news Wild captain set to undergo Surgery this morning

Spurgeon, who stands at 5’9″, has made significant progress since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Draft, alongside Cam Atkinson, who joined the Columbus Blue Jackets. Together, the two have paved the way for “undersized” players in the NHL, demonstrating how effective they can be with the right energy and grit.

With Spurgeon’s absence, depth defensemen Dakota Mermis and Daemon Hunt will likely see more playing time. The Wild will also be relieved of Spurgeon’s $7.575 million cap hit for the remainder of the season. Whether their depth players or potential acquisitions can fill in for the team’s top defenseman is now a critical question for Minnesota’s success for the remainder of the season. The Wild are currently seventh in the Central Division, with an 18-20-5 record.

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