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Preview/Lines #76: Labanc’s Season Is Done, Hill Next?

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Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The signs have been pointing in this direction for a while, but finally, San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner officially shut down Kevin Labanc for the season today.

He also put Adin Hill’s season on a lifeline.

For a moment, it looked like Labanc, on the shelf since December because of shoulder surgery, might come back in early April. Labanc himself set an Apr. 2 return date.

Sharks Counting on Labanc to Come Back ‘Big Time’

But a late March doctor’s appointment, supposedly Labanc’s final one before his comeback, seems to have squashed that hope.

“The doctors are happy with how the shoulder is, but it’s just a longer rehab,” Boughner said today. “It’s healing fine. He’s got full rotation. There’s still some soreness there. You’re not gonna put a guy that’s 90% with two weeks to go in the season.”

The San Jose Sharks bench boss added: “The doctors originally put a timeline on things after surgery. When it’s finally time to have that last appointment to see if he can play or not, they liked the improvement, but it’s just a longer rehab. It’s just been a longer rehab than they thought.”

The original timeline for Labanc after his mid-December surgery was about 12 weeks.

The playmaker will finish a sub-standard season with just six points in 21 games.

Goaltender Adin Hill is also facing a make-it-or-break-it point this season with his unidentified lower-body injury.

Hill’s last game was Mar. 12, and before that game, his previous appearance was on Jan. 22. Essentially, over the last three months, Hill has played just one contest, ironically enough, a shutout over the Los Angeles Kings.

“With two weeks to go, I don’t think we’ll see him back,” Boughner said. “I know he’s been working with the doctors and the trainers, but I’d be shocked to see him back practicing with us, to be honest.”

If Hill’s season is over, he’ll finish with a disappointing 10-11-1 record and a .906 Save %.

SAN JOSE SHARKS (29-34-12)

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (35-35-6)

WHERE TO WATCH

Puck drop between the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks is at 7:30 PM PT/10:30 PM ET at the SAP Center. Watch it live on Bally Sports Ohio and NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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