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Blackhawks’ Taylor Hall is expected to miss the rest of the season with a right knee injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Blackhawks forward Taylor Hall will have right knee surgery, likely sidelining the 2018 NHL MVP for the rest of the season.

The team placed Hall and forward Andreas Athanasiou on injured reserve on Thursday. The move with Athanasiou, who has a groin injury, was made retroactive to Nov. 9. Forwards Joey Anderson and Cole Guttman were recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League.

Last-place Chicago has dropped five in a row heading into Friday’s matchup against visiting Toronto.

Coach Luke Richardson said Hall is going to have ACL surgery.

“He’s very disappointed,” Richardson said. “But it just came from (an) accumulation of a bunch of little injuries, in the game, and even in practice the other day. It just became unstable that we have to fix that now.”

The 32-year-old Hall, who was selected by Edmonton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, was acquired in a trade with Boston right before Chicago took Connor Bedard with top pick in this year’s draft.

Hall was brought in to help provide some leadership and scoring alongside Bedard, but he was hampered by a left shoulder injury at the start of the season.

Hall’s knee injury occurred when he was hit by Tampa Bay’s Michael Eyssimont on Nov. 9. He returned last weekend at Nashville and played two games before he missed Wednesday night’s 7-3 loss at Columbus.

“A guy just pulled him down. It was just a nothing play, and just the way he fell on it, that was kind of one of the last straws,” Richardson said. “Then he tried to get through it and in practice he just caught a rut and it finalized him.”

Hall has two goals and two assists in 10 games this season. He has 266 goals and 431 assists in 14 NHL seasons, also playing for Edmonton, New Jersey, Boston, Arizona and Buffalo.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Bedard said. “Someone that loves to play so much, and every game so impactful and such a good hockey player, but such a good person and means so much to our group. … We know he’s still going to be around and of course a big part of the team.”

Blackhawks forward Corey Perry was a healthy scratch for the loss to the Blue Jackets, and Richardson declined to talk about the situation.

“We’re going to keep that internal in the organization right now,” he said. “I’m unable to answer any more questions about that.”

Perry was acquired in a June trade with Tampa Bay. He then agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with the Blackhawks. He has four goals and five assists in 16 games.

“Just know he’s not with us. We haven’t really gotten any details,” teammate Nick Foligno said. “It’s unfortunate. He’s a big part of this, so we’ll miss him. But we haven’t really gotten any other information.”

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