Sharks’ winger to have shoulder surgery, will be out long term

SAN JOSE – Forward Kevin Labanc will have surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder, Sharks coach Bob Boughner said Wednesday.

Boughner said Labanc, injured in Saturday’s game with the Dallas Stars on a bit by defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, could miss approximately three months after he has the surgery early next week in Los Angeles.

Labanc had an MRI on Monday and Boughner said the following day that Sharks doctors and trainers were discussing the next course of treatment, including rehabilitation of the shoulder. That, though, could potentially lead to having the shoulder pop in and out on a regular basis.

Boughner said by having the surgery now, Labanc could potentially return before the end of the season in late April.

“Unfortunately, he got hit the wrong way awkwardly into the glass,” Labanc said. “I think the smart thing is (fixing) it now so we can have him for the end of the season instead of the shoulder slipping in and out every other game. It’s not going to help him personally as well.”

Boughner added that winger Rudolfs Balcers may not be back until after Christmas, giving other players like Jayden Halbgewachs a chance to step into the lineup. Halbgewachs will make his NHL debut Thursday against Vancouver and will start the game on the Sharks’ second line with Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barabanov.

Halbgewachs, 24, was recalled by the Sharks on Monday and was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s game with Seattle. Now in his fourth year in the Sharks’ organization, Halbgewachs had 16 points in 19 games with the Barracuda this season.

GOING HOME: Joel Kellman, who had spent this season with the Barracuda. cleared unconditional waivers Wednesday and is returning home to Sweden.

Kellman, in his third season in the Sharks’ organization, had four points in 10 AHL games this season. Kellman, 27, was originally signed by the Sharks to a one-year deal in 2019 and re-signed to a two-year deal in August 2020 that expired after this season. He had nine points in 38 NHL games with the Sharks.

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