St. Louis Blues defenceman Erik Johnson is likely sidelined the entire season because of a right knee injury.
Johnson, 20, was told Tuesday by two doctors that he will need surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in the knee.
"In our business, you get a few curveballs," Blues president John Davidson said. "This is a pretty good curveball."
Johnson suffered the injury in a freak accident during last Tuesday's team-sanctioned golf tournament, when his right foot got caught between the brake pedal and the accelerator of the golf cart he was driving.
"To say Erik is distraught would be using a kind word," Davidson said. "He feels responsible.
"But we told him we're still with him. He is still going to be a big part of our team."
Johnson posted five goals and 28 assists for 33 points with 28 penalty minutes in 69 games last season, his first in the NHL.
He was drafted first overall in 2006 by the Blues, who consider him a cornerstone of the franchise.
"We still have our same goals," Davidson said. "We're going to get up tomorrow and think about winning."With files from the Associated Press