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NHL Notebook: London Knights Max McCue suspended following brawl with Sarnia Sting and Blue Jackets Zach Werenski to miss 4-6 weeks

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Photo credit:Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
Tensions heightened on Friday night when the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights took on the Sarnia Sting in the annual 402-rivalry series, leading to the suspension of Knights forward Max McCue.
The Knights forward has been handed an indefinite suspension following the events that transpired and for abusing an official, in which he was ejected, according to the game report.
The initial incident occurred when Sting forward Daylen Moses cross-checked Philadelphia Flyers prospect Denver Barkley in the face, resulting in the forward receiving a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
As emotions strained, Sarnia netminder Karsen Chartier stepped away from the goal crease and struck Knights forward Keaden Johnston, igniting the brawl between Ryder Boulton and Chartier with Stings’ Cooper Way and Boulton following suit.
McCue, however, was ejected at 18:34 for abuse of an official; although no information has transpired on what exactly was said, it’s been assumed that it was regarding the cross-check to Barkley.
McCue holds the longest active point streak in the OHL with 13 goals in nine games. The streak ties him with Jared Knight and trails behind Patrick Kane, who scored in 13 straight games in the 2006-07 season. Before being removed from the game, McCue scored two goals to contribute to the Knights’ 5-1 victory, adding their fifth straight win.
“I’m upset with their antics and how they’re allowed to do them,” Sting interim head coach and former NHL player Michael Haley said, who will be filling in for Alan Letang, who is currently serving as the head coach for Canada’s U20 team at the World Juniors.
“I’ve had a lot of fights in my life and I don’t think you’re allowed to go around and celebrate (in a demonstrative fashion). It is what it is. The refs called it. We accept it, move on and go on to the next game.”
The Knights sit third in the Western Conference with 45 points. Meanwhile, the Sting sit ninth in the West with 25 points.

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Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski to miss 4-6 weeks

The Columbus Blue Jackets have officially announced that defenceman Zach Werenski will be sidelined for four to six weeks following an ankle injury.
Werenski was initially injured on Wednesday night when the Blue Jackets took on the New Jersey Devils. The defenceman got tangled up with Ondrej Palat around the halfway mark during the second period and was unable to put weight on his left leg, causing him to leave the game.
The defenceman will likely return around the time of the All-Star break in February. Still, it will cause him to miss the next 10-14 games for the Blue Jackets.
Werenski has contributed one goal and 25 points across 34 games so far in the 2023-24 campaign, which would have had him on track to secure a 60-point season in the case he was to play the full 82 games. Unfortunately, Werenski has not played the entire season since 2018-19 due to injuries, health issues, or shortened seasons.
In response, the Columbus organization has called up defenceman Jake Christiansen from the American Hockey League. The Blueliner has scored five goals and 22 points in 28 games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters. Last season, Christiansen played 24 games with the Blue Jackets, contributing four assists.
The Blue Jackets have also announced that forward Sean Kuraly will be placed on the injured reserve after suffering an abdominal injury against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 23rd. Kuraly has six goals and 11 points throughout 35 games.
The Blue Jackets look to build on their 6-5 win over the Maple Leafs on Friday as they take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

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