Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little has had his season ended by a compression fracture in his vertebrae, coach Paul Maurice announced Thursday.
Little’s injury happened one week prior to the announcement, during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning where Little took a big open-ice check from Tampa defenseman Anton Stralman. Little was coming through the neutral zone and was bumped by another player, causing his head to go down as he attempted to retain control of the puck. Stralman lined him up and sent him to the ice, forcing Little from the game.
Little put up 17 goals and 25 assists in 57 games this season. His loss is a blow for the Jets and likely means that we have seen the last of the fun-to-watch Ladd-Little-Wheeler line. While it’s tough for the Jets to lose a top player like Little, their playoff hopes were dashed long ago. They currently reside in the basement of the Central Division.
Here’s the hit from Stralman, which comes in a shift where Stralman delivers a couple borderline hits.
In response to the loss of Little, the Jets have recalled Matt Halischuk from the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.