Caps' Hillen to undergo surgery today

Caps' Hillen to undergo surgery today
October 4, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Wilson retaliates after Flames' hit on Hillen

Veteran defenseman Jack Hillen is expected to undergo surgery today to repair a “lower body” injury that coach Adam Oates said will sideline him for “months.”

“I don’t believe it’s career-threatening,” Oates said. “I still don’t know the full extent of the injury.”

With 8:01 gone in the first period of Thursday night’s 5-4 shootout win over the Calgary Flames, Hillen, 27, was slammed into the boards by Flames forward Lance Bouma. Bouma made contact with Hillen’s right hip and leg and Hillen had to be helped off the ice and taken to a nearby hospital. Hillen remained hospitalized overnight and was scheduled for surgery on Friday

“He’s going be out an extended period of time,” Oates said. “Tough break for him. Two years in a row.”

In the season opener last year in Tampa Hillen suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two months.

Hillen is a left-handed defenseman and the Caps claimed lefty Alex Urbom from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday Urbom practiced with the Caps on Friday and Oates said he’s weighing the option of giving Urbom his first game as a Capital or inserting the right-handed shooting Steve Oleksy into the lineup. Oleksy has been a healthy scratch the first two games in favor of rookie Connor Carrick.

“We’re going to decide whether to throw [Urbom] in without really getting a [full] practice, or Steve Oleksy might go in and we’ll have four right-shot [defensemen],” Oates said.

“[Oleksy] wants to play. I expect when a player gets sat out that you be professional, that you’re upset but that you’re a pro about it and he’s been nothing short of that.”    

Urbom, a 22-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, said he was surprised the Devils placed him on waivers.

“I thought I had a good camp in Jersey,” he said, “but I was very happy when the Capitals picked me up and I’m really glad to be here.”

Urbom is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and described himself as a “defensive guy” who tries to use his size.

Urbom said he played briefly with Marcus Johansson when they were teenagers on a Swedish national team