Chad LaRose knew it was bad. Very bad.
The Hurricanes forward was working out Wednesday with teammate Justin Williams, getting in some off-ice exercises, when ...
"I was right next to him. He just stopped and there was a big pop," LaRose said today. "We all heard it — a big pop."
Just like that, Williams had torn his right Achilles tendon. After surgery, his recovery time is expected to be four to six months, leaving the Canes without one of their top wingers.
"It's tough. Justin's kind of irreplaceable," LaRose said. "You can't put anybody in his spot. It's tough for him and tough for us to swallow.
"It's tough but we've got a lot of guys here who can step up and contribute a little more."
Among the players general manager Jim Rutherford mentioned soon after Williams' injury were LaRose and Ryan Bayda. While the injury was devastating, Rutherford said, it would open up an opportunity for others.
Bayda, of course, didn't want it to come about this way. Not with Williams, who missed a chunk of last season with a serious knee injury, being sidelined again.
"It took months for him to get his knee back in shape," Bayda said. "To go down, just before the season, it stinks. But it's part of the game and something we'll have to deal with.
"We can't dwell on it. We've got enough guys here with enough experience to get us through this."