Monday, February 29, 2016

Whistle will undergo hip surgery

Shoot the Breeze
Jackson Whistle will go out a winner. Unfortunately, the 20 year-old goaltender will have his Kelowna Rockets career end by injury. The West Kelowna product will have season ending hip surgery, meaning he won't be able to help his team repeat as WHL champions.
The team was hoping rest was the best remedy to treat the injury, but after missing 25 consecutive games after making a start December 30th against the Everett Silvertips, his hip ailment just wasn't getting better. Surgery will be required.
Hip surgery for a young goaltender is nothing new. Look no further than Vancouver Giants Daniel Wapple, who also was shut down in November to undergo the procedure. Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko, a 2nd round pick, had it done. So did New York Rangers netminder Mackenzie Skapski. Skapski is also 20. Jets's prospect and former Tri City Americans goalie Eric Comrie had the procedure in 2013. One of the most notable goalies to have hip surgery is Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne.
Why are all of these goalies having hip problems at such a young age and are requiring surgery? The butter fly technique, used extensively by today's goalies over the stand up style first used, is likely to blame.  

Here is the press release from the Rockets:

Kelowna Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton announced on Monday that Rockets goaltender Jackson Whistle will miss the rest of the WHL season and playoffs due to injury.

Whistle, 20, will undergo two different surgeries to repair torn labrum muscles on each of his hips. The first surgery will take place this week and the second one is scheduled for next month.

“It’s a huge loss for our hockey team and a tough situation for Jackson,” said Hamilton. “We’re hoping that surgery helps him get through this so he can continue with his career.”

The injury, which worsened through the season before Whistle was finally forced to the sidelines, will end Whistle’s junior hockey career. The West Kelowna native joined the Rockets in the 2012-13 WHL season after being acquired from the Vancouver Giants, where he played his rookie season.

Over the next four seasons, he played in 120 regular season games for the Rockets and a further 20 in the playoffs, including 19 last year, when the Rockets won the WHL Championship and made it all the way to the final of the Memorial Cup.

“I’ve loved playing for the Kelowna Rockets,” said Whistle. “It’s been the best four years of my life and I’ve loved every minute of it, playing in my hometown, in front of my friends and family. I’m really going to miss my teammates. We have had such good teams and I think we’re going to do really well again this year.”

It’s expected to take six months for Whistle to fully heel from surgery. Overall Whistle closes out his WHL career with 87 wins, a career .912 save percentage and a 2.59 goals against average.

Hamilton said Jackson has had a great career for the Rockets.

“Last year Jackson was such an important part of our team and the run we had,” said Hamilton. “He was a big part of our march to the Memorial Cup and he was outstanding in the tournament. He was patient waiting for his opportunity when Jordan Cooke was here and he learned how to work hard and a be a number one goalie. We’re very hopeful the surgeries are successful.”

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