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Breaking: NHL captain pulled out of the lineup minutes before the game.

Big injury revealed just prior to puck drop.

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A National Hockey League franchise will be seriously short handed on Sunday night. 

According to a breaking news report from Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the Anaheim Ducks appear to have pulled out veteran forward Ryan Getzlaf out of the line up just minutes before the puck is set to drop. The Ducks are at home in Anaheim on Sunday night where they will welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Honda Center but it looks like the Ducks will have to do so without their captain.

Friedman's curiosity was first peaked when Getzlaf was notably absent from the Ducks' pre game warmups and after some digging he was able to get an official confirmation from the Ducks. The Ducks informed Friedman that Getzlaf is currently dealing with an upper body injury and there has been no information put forward by the Ducks regarding the specific nature of the injury or the regarding the length of time that Getzlaf may be out of the line up as a result of said injury. 

This is incredibly frustrating for the Ducks who not only have been largely unable to remain healthy in the long term over the past season and a half, but it is even more so when you consider how important this game is for Anaheim. A win tonight would awarded the Ducks two points and that would allow them to leap frog both the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Arizona Coyotes in the standings, something that will be much more difficult to do with Getzlaf out of the line up.

The other issue here for the Ducks is that their core group of players is getting considerably older and many of their core members have begun to show signs of their advanced age already this early into the season. Getzlaf however has been arguably the organizations most consistent veteran forward this season, appearing in 9 games for Anaheim thus far in 2018 - 2019 and recording 2 goals and 8 assists for a total of 10 points on the season.

Although this is bad news for the Ducks it's great news for a Blue Jackets team that has been dealing with some of their own internal temoil, and it will be interesting to see how both of these teams react when all is aid and done this evening.