Originally created 10/09/01

Stefan to miss 4-to-6 weeks after surgery to repair broken jaw

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Thrashers forward Patrik Stefan will be sidelined for up to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair his broken jaw.

Stefan had a plate and six screws inserted in his jaw Sunday at St. Joseph's Hospital, general manager Don Waddell said Monday.

The injury occurred in Saturday's game against Boston when Bruins forward Bill Guerin inadvertently struck Stefan in the jaw with his stick.

Guerin was suspended for three games by the NHL on Monday and will forfeit more than $78,000 in salary.

"It was a stick to the head, and the player was injured, so it could have been longer," Guerin said in the press box during Monday's game against Washington, the start of his suspension. "But it was an accident, and my stick wasn't real high."

Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta's top draft pick, missed Monday's practice after having nine teeth pulled on Sunday. He is expected to return to practice later this week.

The Thrashers also assigned forward Brad Tapper to Chicago of the American Hockey League.


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