Head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed Wednesday that Erik Haula is now considered “month-to-month” after sustaining a lower-body injury Nov. 6 against the Maple Leafs. Gallant did not confirm whether Haula has undergone surgery or if he will need to do so.
Haula’s right leg buckled beneath him on a hit delivered by Patrick Marleau in the third period of Vegas’ 3-1 loss to Toronto; Haula was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher.
The Knights placed Haula on injured reserve Tuesday, retroactive to Nov. 6, after initially ruling him out for the remainder of Vegas’ road trip, which wrapped up Sunday in Boston.
However, the Finnish forward, who has two goals and seven points in 15 games this season, will be out of the lineup until at least mid-December, if not longer. Haula set career highs last season with 29 goals, 26 assists and 55 points in 76 games.
This is just one more circumstance of bad luck in the early part of Vegas’ sophomore campaign.
The Knights currently hold a 7-10-1 record, good for seventh in the Pacific Division and 14th in the Western Conference. Vegas has gone 3-6-1 in its last 10 games.
Though the Knights will get Nate Schmidt back in the lineup Sunday in Edmonton, the Haula news is a particularly distressing setback considering he managed six points in his last seven games before suffering the injury. Paul Stastny remains out of the lineup indefinitely with a knee injury of his own, and Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty have missed a combined 12 games.
The timing of the development is also especially concerning considering seven of the Knights’ remaining nine games in November will be against division rivals, starting tonight with the Anaheim Ducks.