With the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs opening next week, the St. John's IceCaps received bad news Wednesday when they learned captain Jason Jaffray will be lost to the team for the remainder of the year.
Jaffray, the IceCaps' fifth-leading scorer with 17 goals and 38 points through 47 games, is scheduled to undergo surgery for a spinal fusion next Thursday.
Recovery time for Jaffray, who turns 31 the end of June, is expected to be upwards of six months.
"It's a big loss," admitted IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge. "He's a team leader, contributes offensively, is solid on the defensive side of the puck."
Jaffray was injured during a game in Norfolk, Va., March 30.
Jaffray was looked at by doctors in Norfolk and Winnipeg, and was sent to Los Angeles, where he was checked over by the same doctor who operated on NFL star Peyton Manning in September.
News of Jaffray's loss, however, has been lessoned with word that forwards Brock Trotter and Marco Rosa will play this weekend when the IceCaps wrap up their season in Worcester, Mass., Springfield, Mass, and Manchester, N.H.
Forward Ray Sawada and defenceman Paul Postma will also play this weekend.
It's not certain if the four will play all three games, or instead eased into the lineup following stays on the injured reserve list.