By: Mike Stubbs
If this was the start of the 2020-21 season in the National Hockey League, it wouldn’t be much of a shock to hear that Liam Foudy was getting ready to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The electrically fast forward for the London Knights is about eight months ahead of schedule but thanks to an emergency recall by Columbus the Scarborough, Ont., native will play his first regular-season game in the NHL on Monday, Feb. 10, in Columbus, Ohio, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Under the agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League, when a drafted player is assigned to his major junior team by his parent club he must remain with that team until their season ends.
However, there is a tiny exception.
Under the NHL’s current collective bargaining agreement, a player playing for a team in the CHL can be recalled for, “reason of incapacitating injury or illness or by league suspension to its players.”
Right now, Columbus falls into that category. They only have 12 available forwards on their roster.
Former Knight Josh Anderson, Alexandre Texier and Alexander Wennberg are all hurt. Add in injuries to defencemen Ryan Murray and Dean Kukan and they were out of options.
Foudy will now add his NHL debut to a season filled with big moments already. Foudy helped Team Canada win gold at the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic, and he has hit 20 goals for the third-straight season. Foudy was named one of Canada’s top three players in the tournament.
The 18th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Foudy missed the pre-season in 2019 with an upper-body injury. He played in two pre-season games in 2018 and scored once.
Foudy can only stay with the Blue Jackets until the “emergency” situation ends.
Nazem Kadri made his National Hockey League debut in much the same way when he was a member of the London Knights in 2009-10.